By Taylor Hanna, Ghana Ambassador
I had the pleasure of meeting with Michael Kwarteng yesterday and after a lengthy misunderstanding with a trotro conductor, I eventually made it to take a look around NAKWES Group’s office in Legon, Accra, near the University of Accra campus.
Six months ago, Michael and four of his friends were all working separately for IT and ICT companies when they got together and decided to address two issues affecting Accra:
1. Ghana has one of the highest youth unemployment rates in the world – 25.6% in 2012 – compared to a global average of 12.6%.
2. There was no laptop and electronic repair service near the University of Ghana, requiring students to make a time-consuming and costly trip to the inner city to service their computers.
Michael is an entrepreneur at his core – as early as grade school he could recognize and capitalize on a market demand. So it’s no surprise that he found himself and his friends starting up their own company in response to the problems faced by their community.
And so, NAKWES (their name from the first letter of each founder’s surname) was born. NAKWES offers laptop and mobile phone repair as well as IT training and media classes that aim to help graduating secondary students pass their university admittance exams. They also recently started their NAKWES College branch, offering a three-month program of media and computer courses for adults. The College will be graduating its first class of 25 students this month.
Michael’s use of Zidisha loans has been helpful in allowing for the purchase of laptop accessories and tools, but he is really excited to continue borrowing and increase his credit limit. NAKWES is looking into the business of importing laptops for resale in order to support their growing education initiatives and hopes Zidisha will be a key factor in making this happen.
I’m so grateful that Michael and the NAKWES team took time out of their busy work day to show me around. The business is promising, especially for one just six months old, and I’m very excited to see how the company grows. The team appreciates the support of you, Zidisha lenders, and looks forward to continuing this relationship!