Bilth Moment: Finding A Co-Founder With Joseph Yaw Mawunyo

Joseph Yaw Mawunyo is an entrepreneur; CEO of Bilth Studio, a content marketer and volunteers as a content manager and creator for two online portals.

Bilth Studio is a filmmaking, graphic design and social media marketing company looking to contribute to the creative industry and help SME’s promote their businesses online.

This session featured the young CEO and Content Marketer where he talked about finding a co-founder. 

READ ALSO: Bilth Moment: Profit or wages? With Philip Mensah

Entrepreneurs, especially in our region do not have all the passion, time, skills, resources and the network to give their ideas the fighting chance it may deserve, for this reason, he said finding another head to carry some of the headache is equally necessary as the business idea.

The Importance of a co-founder

He said the importance a co-founder serves is countless depending on your idea and needs, but he covered three major importance of a co-founder to a business idea.

1. What other founders are saying:

According to Tom Tunguz, most successful companies had an average of 2.4 founders. “The number of co-founders is crucial to the success of every startup, and therefore it is very important to have more than one founder” he added.

According to Thomas Koulopoulos, (founder of Delphi Group), startups do better when they have two balanced and fully invested partners.

The keyword here is ‘balanced’; Thomas is pointing out the reason why entrepreneurs need another head, and as we have established, you don’t have all that you need to achieve the success you envisioned. 

Startups with more than one founder tend to raise 30% more investment, grow customers three times as fast, and are less likely to scale fast.

2. Getting investors:

Investors do care about great ideas; the idea is what draws them to the table. But one thing that keeps them there is the people behind the idea.

One thing investors look for before investing is a scalable, profitable business idea and also most importantly, they have to demonstrate how the team they have put together will achieve their business objectives.

In getting investors, they want to know that you are not the only person who is passionate about your idea. From investors Perspectives, having one founder is a vote of no confidence. 

Because if you can’t even persuade your friends and circle to join you, the odds are against you persuading customers of your idea and that doesn’t prove your investability. 

3. Support:

Starting a business is hard; you don’t need anyone to tell you that. The headaches and sleepless nights, charley. Having two founders increase the odds of success.

During the early stages of the startup life, the ability to rely on each other to share the burden, temper risks, collaborate creatively, and take on specific areas of responsibility and to motivate each other is absolutely critical.

Because of the amount of work available to be done, stress is a commodity we can’t escape at this stage, so you need someone who can share this with you. You go to bed knowing that someone else is thinking about the project, that way, you would have peace to sleep well small.

At the beginning of every business, there are loads of expenses, from the small things as buying data for running of the social media pages to getting a working space. Having a co-founder helps so that you can both contribute your pocket money in any small way. 

You seriously need someone to complement you in skills. I have met tech entrepreneurs who have deep technology experience and ideas but lack the business skills. There is no way you will know everything or have all the skills you need, So with this, they can look for a co-founder who has the business skills in order to create balance and give the business a fighting chance.

Bringing a co-founder who has complementary skills and a willingness to invest time and resources in the company can be a great way to spread responsibility and ensure that you get the moral support you need to meet investor expectations.

What We Should Look For In A Co-founder:

Finding a co-founder is like finding a life partner and the choice you make can either make or unmake you. It is therefore important to know who you are first before going out to look for someone to complement you.

1. First thing to do is to determine what your needs are. 

Pick a pen and a paper and answer these questions first before you go out looking for an investor.

a. What are the overall skills needed for your startups success?

b. What are your strengths and weaknesses in terms of your skills sets and business competencies.

c. What are the vital skills you lack that are important to the business success?

d. Which tasks within the business are you able to perform and which part requires expertise you don’t have?

Answering these questions for your business idea will tell you what you lack and who you need to bring on board to give your idea the chance it requires.

2. Getting specific with your search:

After you have identified the organizational gaps, you should have the idea of who you need to partner with in order to succeed and at this point, you need to be specific.

Again, ask yourself these questions:

a. What exactly am I looking for in a Co-founder?

b. What is the required educational requirement?

c. How experience should the person be?

d. How much exposure should the person have are specialized areas of knowledge or skills?

e. What should be the personality traits of the person?

In a lot of cases, you may want to go for someone who has the same personality like you, they behave like you, think like you, dress like you, went to a particular school.

But note that you want to build balance here, so you go for someone who might be opposite to you in terms of thinking, likes, personalities, risk-taking ability and so on.

You can also promote diversity and look for someone in a different age group, gender, ethnicity, country or even culture. This can help you leverage on their experience and viewpoints. 

Where to look for co-founders:

“Your direct personal network or someone in your circle is a great place to start looking. Other places can be seminars, conferences and business groups like Bilth Center. You can also use social media to spread the word that you are hiring” he said.

“It is very important to me that you know that going for close friends and relatives for your idea is very risky. Many brilliant ideas have collapsed and more will collapse because we just went in for our friends and we neglected to do the due diligence” he stressed.

I have talked to a number of startups who are bleeding because of this. I recently had a chat with an HR and she said it is very problematic to go for your friends in your search for Co-founders or even partners. 80-90% of CEOs regret this later. 

You shouldn’t go for the friend just because he is your friend and available, go through the appropriate channels we have mentioned so far and if your friend qualifies, praise God. 

READ ALSO: Bilth Moment: Business Idea Generation with Nii Ayitey Hammond

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Bilth Moment: Profits Or Wages? With Philip Mensah

We had the privilege to interact with Philip Mensah, a professional Content Developer and the CEO of Universal GreenHouse Group.

Phillip is known in his circle as communicative and a spirited young man.
During this session, we discussed with reasons why profit is better than wages and at the end gathered a deeper understanding of the subject matter.

According to the concise English dictionary, profit is a financial gain, especially the difference between an initial outlay and the subsequent amount earned.

READ ALSO: Bilth Moment: Business Idea Generation with Nii Ayitey Hammond

Wages on the other hand is a fixed regular payment for work, typically paid on a daily, weekly or monthly basis.  He started his presentation by first quoting Jim Rohn, the quote says, “Profit is better than wages”.

“Wages make you a living; profits make you a fortune.” He continued to say that we are living in a society filled with information and yet many are still facing hardship in their daily lives.

“In Matthew 25:14-30, the parable of talents was telling us about work, success and wealth; work corresponds with success and success corresponds with wealth. But as individuals, we spend our lifetime working and yet the majority can’t quantify their success and the worth of their wealth,” he added.

READ ALSO: You know you are an entrepreneur when…
According to the parable, we as humans are destined to profit from our work which corresponds to success and the success must have a direct link to wealth. The relationship between profits and wages is building wealth through business or working at a job, he went on to say that work relates to success and without the input of work, success cannot be attained.
He then posed a question, that says, “how do we earn profits and how should we migrate ourselves from the wages section to the profit section by maximizing wealth?”

He answered saying we gain profits from what they do as a profession or as a passion.

Your passion should give you a profession which should lead to profit through constant practice.

Wages is simply working around the clock for payments.

READ ALSO: Will the customer keep you in mind?

There is a saying that we are not paid base on the amount of time we spent but for our value proposition. 

Passion, when we harness and apply learning processes, it turns into a profession and after the learning process, we start earning from it.

When we start or set out to apply our passion, we don’t look for profit from the beginning but should rather focus on putting the needed work and skill development that your passion requires and only then will this work transform from passion to a profession, then to profit.

READ ALSO: Funding your business; options available
Mr. Mensah continued by saying, “in order for an individual to avoid the rat race, he must first ask him or herself what his passion is.

At this stage, the individual is not looking for something that can earn him money right from the start because money is not the focal point here but rather, passion.

Your passion is like seed and we don’t think of a seed as fruit but first, how to plant and work on the seed and if we succeed at that then that seed will now bear the fruits we want.”

READ ALSO: Africa’s tourism story; a well-kept secret
He then followed with another question, this time directed to the group members, asking them the intent for which Bilth Studio started the Bilth Moment project. Some members answered by saying that the reason for the group is to help them learn from great people and among themselves. 

Another replied that the group is a virtual classroom created for the purpose of sharing knowledge.
To conclude, those who make a profit focus and develop their passion into a profession which in the end gives them the financial freedom they need or deserve. We all have this passion for something we can turn into a profession sitting in us, let tap into it and start winning in life.

READ ALSO: Meet Novat Karol, founder of Elimu Living Labs
Do join us next weekend for a special open discussion session where we will share our views on whether to vote for policies or promises in the upcoming election. Until then, stay safe. 

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Bilth Moment: Business Idea Generation With Nii Ayitey Hammond

Business idea generation is a creative process that entrepreneurs and businessmen use to create new business ideas.

The process involves gathering ideas using any idea generation method, doing market research, testing, revising or pivoting and finally implementing the idea.

We had Nii Ayitey Hammond, the Editor in Chief of BizzAfrica, to share with us on the topic idea. 

READ ALSO: Meet Ayeesha Tsotsoo Antiaye, founder of Diva Forever Beauty Spa

With his experience in entrepreneurship combined with his active involvement in promoting young entrepreneurs, he shares on how to generate business ideas and how to successfully bring these ideas to fruition.

“The first thing to note; there is no new idea under the sun, literally. Entrepreneurs are in the constant business of recycling ideas” he said.

He then made it clear that what separates an entrepreneur from a market woman is innovation.

READ ALSO: Meet Benjamin Oppong-Badu, product designer, photographer and more

“A market woman may sell raw fruits in the market; an entrepreneur will decide to sell fruit juice plus straw plus tissue plus other items. The market woman may price a fruit at GHc1 cedi and the entrepreneur will present the whole package at GHc5 cedis,” he added.

The entrepreneur added innovation to the fruit to create a business idea and that increased the revenue.

He again made several references to the innovative ways smart entrepreneurs are cashing in a global challenge thanks to COVID-19. We have entrepreneurs who are adding facemasks to face shields, especially when we learnt that the shields alone were not offering enough protection.

READ ALSO: Meet Ed Obi, founder of Ed Obi Fashion House

According to him, innovation is everything when it comes to generating business ideas.

It takes thinking outside the box to make new money with old ideas. Every situation creates opportunities to do business or come out with a business idea.

“Generating business ideas is a tricky process; it could be a challenge or it could be simple. It is all about your mindset” he said.

You can use your interest and do what you love, perfect your art, never stop learning, expand your social circle and most importantly get started.

READ ALSO: Meet Emmaline Datey, mentor, consultant, MC and more

“You may not get it right all the time; experience shapes your ideas over time. Make all the mistakes and learn from them,” he explained.

In summary, generating a business idea is a crucial stage in your quest to become an entrepreneur.

Know your interest, educate yourself in that area, get the right team and get started. 

READ ALSO: Meet Sarah Sackey, founder of Sarah Sacke Clothing

To bring your ideas to fruition, he asked that we follow these steps;

1. Write down your ideas and continuously develop them:

It is very important to write down your ideas in simple sentences.

It should be very normal for you to wake up dawn just to improve your idea.

It is also important to remember you don’t have the luxuries non-entrepreneurs enjoy; they can decide to take chances and live normal lives but as an entrepreneur, your brain is constantly searching for opportunities in every situation.

Anyone who shares a problem with you is giving you an opportunity to solve a problem.

READ ALSO: Meet Ayuba Tanko, founder of Ayuba Tanko Photography

2. Get the right team:

Every opportunity that presents itself to an entrepreneur comes several facets; learn to share opportunities.

But in choosing the people to share them with, it is important to do so wisely.

It is not about family and friends; it is about people who can get the task executed. 

3. Have patience:

One important trait entrepreneurs need to learn is patience.

The fact that you have a brilliant idea does not mean you will become a millionaire overnight.

READ ALSO: Meet Anne Amuzu, co-founder of Nandi Mobile

There are surprises along the way and you would need to regain your balance once you are knocked off-course.

Other important steps to note is identifying your competitors and constantly fine-tuning your ideas.

This places you steps ahead of the competition.

Note also that things will not fall in place all the time, learn to deal with issues along the way. 

READ ALSO: Funding your business; options available

If you missed the session on our WhatsApp platform, we have just given you all the knowledge you need in landing a game-changer idea and starting your journey as an entrepreneur.

To know about our upcoming sessions and join us, follow us on our social media platforms; Bilth Studio.

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Trailblazer: Meet Ayeesha Tsotsoo Antiaye, founder of Diva Forever Beauty Spa

Ayeesha Tsotsoo Antiaye is the 8th born of a family of 8 siblings. She had her Senior High School education at Tema Senior High School (SHS), followed by a professional course in Cosmetology at Springs Beauty Academy.

READ ALSO: Meet Benjamin Oppong-Badu, product designer and more 

Ayeesha then proceeded to work as a beauty lecturer with Abrantie College of Cosmetology, before setting up her business. She is interested in movies, music, reading and acquiring knowledge.

Ayeesha is a cosmetologist with a specialty in beauty therapy; she established Diva Forever Beauty Spa (DFS) about 8 years ago.

Driven by her passion for makeup artistry and catering for the beauty needs of others, she decided to open DFS to provide top of the line professional services for people.

Her inspiration for her business stems from her passion.

READ ALSO: Meet Sarah Sackey, founder of Sarah Sackey Clothing

She recalls a time when she took a bold decision to opt for cosmetology; according to her, she would choose her profession over and over again and not regret it.

DFS is open to everyone; from as young as 18 years to as old as 99 years and above.

It has amazing packages anyone who loves to look beautiful with makeup and cosmetics.

It would soon create a line of makeup products that cater for the beauty needs of people with different shades of melanin.

These would include products and services that not only highlight beauty of the melanin but also helps protect it.

DFS is currently solely funded by Ayeesha. According to her, even though business has slowed down in recent times, she is optimistic there would be a turnaround in no time.

READ ALSO: Meet Ayuba Tanko, founder of Ayuba Tanko Photography

In the next 5 years, she is optimistic DFS would be one of Ghana’s most sort after cosmetology schools and spa centres that would provide services in all corners of the country.

Her message to President Akufo-Addo is simple; he should come to the aid of entrepreneurs as they also contribute their quota to society.

Ayeesha also suggests that cosmetology courses should be incorporated into curricula of schools so that young Ghanaians are empowered to appreciate the profession and not conclude it is for uneducated people.

READ ALSO: Meet Ed Obi, founder of Ed Obi Fashion House

Connect with her:

Instagram: @divaforeverbeautyspa

Facebook: DivaForeverBeautySpa

LinkedIn: Ayeesha Tsotsoo

Gmail: divalatifa75@gmail.com

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