Tuesday 4 June 2013

2Inspire Business Profile: Elvina Quaison - Founder of Silk Solutions

In this inspirational profile we meet Elvina Quaison, founder of Silk Solutions Global, a consultancy firm based in Ghana.  Elvina emigrated from the UK to Ghana in 2012 and has been going from strength to strength since.

Please tell us what is a typical business day for you?

My day varies between admin work such as catching up on emails, putting together contracts and agreements, and speaking to clients and potential clients. Meetings can also take up a great deal of time.

What made you start the business and how did you get started?

I started Silk Solutions because I was coming to Ghana and I could see there was a gap regarding effective and reliable information for those moving to Ghana or wanting to start a business there. My previous job had been helping to pave the way regarding these areas but I could see this could be pushed further by having someone on the ground.

I got started by getting a business advisor, putting together a business plan and then just getting on with it. I had a few people who approached me who I had worked with before and were interested in me helping them with some projects in Ghana and it went on from there.

What would you say has been your greatest accomplishment in the business world to date?

I think my biggest accomplishments would be attracting £250,000 of sponsorship for a client. Another was when I ran my first event and it was a sell out with people turning up on the day to squeeze in. That felt very good.

What has been your biggest challenge in business so far?

The biggest challenge is around clients and payments, people want a great deal but don’t always want to pay the amount necessary. As a business person you then have to decide if your target client is really the target that will enable you to stay and thrive in your business.

What are your future plans for the business?

My future plans are to continue to grow my business and put particular focus on investment opportunities in Ghana initially and Africa as a whole.

If you had to do it all over again, what would you do differently?

I would take more time to understand not only the needs of my target clients but their willingness and ability to pay to have their needs met. I would look at the bureaucracy side of the business more legal, accounts, contracts/ agreements and have those structures in place to make the doing of business really flow.

Why is it so important to inspire young women in particular to follow their dreams?

Taking my own experience into consideration I am aware women are not encouraged to follow dreams of business greatness. The idea of being an entrepreneur and a successful one at that is not something that is taught or encouraged. Having the courage to start and continue your initiative is a challenge and women need to know they can do it and have a support system around them to help them succeed.

What advice would you give to somebody who wants to start a business in your industry?

Do your research! Really understand and explore the service industry and select your niche area then know it back to front. Develop a partnership agreement and work with others, as long as your agreement is clear and protects all concerned this will make your work a lot easier and more successful.

What or who inspires you in business and why?

Watching my friends in business inspires me as I know them and I see the rises and the challenges. Also they are close so it is not some superhuman character who is distant from me, it is ‘real’ people who come to me to share what is happening with them asking for and giving advice. It makes the ability to go into business less daunting.

There are other people who I don’t know who also inspire me for different reasons the tenacity and focus of Beyonce, the scope and magnitude of Oprah Winfrey and the daring and strength of Dr Teresa Oppong Beeko who started a housing development in Ghana called Manet Housing.

Also I do help and offer advice to young entrepreneurs in Ghana, watching them is always an amazing source of inspiration.

What is your favourite inspirational quote?

You may encounter many defeats, but you must not be defeated. In fact it may be necessary to encounter the defeats so you can know who you are, what you can rise from and how you can still come out of it.
Maya Angelou

I would say that this quote is definitely a source of comfort as you walk on the path of a business owner!

Elvina Quaison


  1. Congratulations on your entrepreneurial journey.
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