Joyce Sarpong is the founder and managing director at AfricaOracle – an organisation which embodies her vision for the rebranding of Africa. AfricaOracle promotes and showcases brands and stories to contribute towards a globally competitive Africa and build a more positive image of the African brand.
Joyce has been involved with a few business support projects at Kingston University – here is her story:
"As a small business owner aiming to increase the profile of my brand I am always interested in hearing from people who have been in my situation, and listening to any tips that could help in my development.
I was introduced to the Enterprising Women workshop programme whilst taking part in another set of development workshops, the Make It Global Programme, in 2014.
Make It Global, funded by the European Union with partners including Kingston University, aimed to support women-led small and medium enterprises in London.
My positive experience with the project, which provided specialist support and access to transnational business networks, led me to hear about the Enterprising Women workshops."
By focusing around three key subjects the sessions helped me to develop my business skills, and gain a greater understanding of the service my business, Africa Oracle, could provide.
The three key subjects were: problem-solving; marketing and selling; and designing business models.
An important point I took from the session is the realisation that entrepreneurs solve problems. The customer is at the heart of the problem and the solution is the product or service provided by the business.
University staff also made me aware, and supported my application for an Innovation Voucher, funded by Innovate UK. This funding meant that I could hire an intern to support me me, and am also able to work with an academic at Kingston University to dispel the myths of Africa, working to improve the exposure of positive stories about the continent.
Attending these workshops provided me with the concept, tools and practical tips I needed to develop my business and take it to the next level.
Specifically, the sessions have also enabled me to review my marketing strategy and the experience my customers receive, and I now understand how to visually describe my business model. I will also be reviewing all my current products and services.
By working with Kingston University I aim to develop AfricaOracle's current magazine to include more original articles.
I would like to thank all those that were involved in organising the Enterprising Women workshops.