My name is Victoria Afua Dautey (née Agbai), an international trade advisor as well as the founder of Bubune Skincare.
I studied at the Hochsule fuer Wirtschaft und Umwelt Nuertingen-Gesilingen. I started in October 2016 and finished in August 2018. But I took an intensive German course in Munich for 6 months from April 2016 to Sepetmber 2016.
What did you start doing after studies?
Initially, i wanted to work in Germany for a few years and spent a couple of months applying for jobs. It was a difficult couple of months sending out hundreds of application letters and getting so many rejections. I eventually got a job only after i had returned to ghana since my visa was very close to expiring.
Why did you venture into entrepreneurship/Start-up?
During my studies, I had a lot of reactions to the weather and the chemicals sprayed on the clothes in some shops. My sensitive skin and some allergies flared up and after several visits to a general practitioner and a dermatologist, I was no close to a solution. Someone offered me a moringa oleifera based product that became my lifesaver due to its anti-inflammatory properties. Since the products I was using were sold only in Germany, I started researching how I could make the products in Ghana. My search led me to a school in the United Kingdom where I took courses in skincare formulation. I am currently enrolled in a diploma in organic haircare formulation.
This was not my first foray into entrepreneurship. Before leaving for Germany, I had founded a fashion accessories company whose products were being sold in 5 hotels and 2 major fashion chains in Ghana. I am passionate about entrepreneurship because I love creating things. Bubune skincare currently employs 7 people and we sell to customers in Ghana, the USA, Estonia, Belgium, the UK, Germany and Austria.
Studying in Germany was a great experience! It exposed me to so much. My MBA class had 22 students from 15 countries. This was an opportunity to interact with people from different cultures. During the master’s program, I had the opportunity to travel to Holland for a social entrepreneurship course and had the chance to work with people from all over the EU. I also did quite a bit of traveling on my own. I wish I had even started travelling and exploring Africa earlier in life. Getting a higher education matures you very quickly and exposes you to different skill sets . I would certainly encourage more people to pursue studies in Germany using the approved channels.
My advice to the next-generation entrepreneurs
Entrepreneurship is tough and should not be undertaken as a cop out. You need to be deeply passionate about what you are doing. My advise is that; you keep good records from the onset and engage professionals if you can afford it. It is vital to sign and maintain the sanctity of contracts from the begining. Its also necessary to trademark your brand from the beginning if you can afford it. On the whole, starting small and growing organically will make you understand the business. Do not rush into partnerships; take time to understand your bsuiness cycles before going into partnerships. Have fun buidling something great because, while it is tough, it is deeply rewarding.
My skincare Start-up
Bubune Skincare is a manufacturer of shea based bath and beauty products made with edible oils and butters sourced mainly from women’s cooperative groups in Tamale. Our range of products includes shea body lotion, body butter, african black soap bar and gel, shea soaps and lip balms.
My story: Bubune Skincare
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