Memories From the Shed - 2018 in Review
As a growing business, we relish all the milestones we achieve and we are grateful and more fulfilled seeing our business make impact. As members of our community, we find great joy and pride in sharing these milestones with you. As most of you would know, we primarily started operating as a coworking space in the year 2016. We re-echoed this dream with the catch phrase, “Authentic Coworking Spaces”. We haven’t pivoted or “messed up” (as startup jargon would put it) there were, however, more areas where we felt we could create and deliver value, and this led us to bring to bear a new offering as a business. The most effective businesses are driven by purpose, mission, and the sense that their work is making the world a better place. We certainly have this at the heart of who we are as Workshed.
We also welcomed two additions to our team this year. Abigail and Adwoa, in charge of sales and content respectively. The two have definitely brought more order and homeliness to our team. Anthea, our lively community manager left for school this year to learn more about business and how sound business principles can change the face of business. She’s in China and we often engage her- “Nee Hao” to her if you meet her anywhere.
This year has also seen the launch our innovation consulting unit. After consolidating our business processes and deepening our understanding of the startup space in Ghana, we observed that 80% of the businesses in Ghana are classified as small and medium enterprises. Even more shocking was the fact that most of these businesses in the economy lack access to relevant business tools and knowledge that they can leverage to build the next generation of businesses. We realized there was a widespread lack of sound strategy and generally poor design of the businesses. Many are also unable to fully make use of digital strategies and digitization to grow their businesses. In November, Huis Africa, a real estate company that has innovated in the real estate space was launched #FromtheShed. Being the first of many, we are of the view the businesses we consult for can deliver more value for the respective markets they serve.
Our proposition as a business does not only remain in offering value added services to businesses, we believe strongly that we are also in the position to shape the narrative on leadership and development in the country. For this reason, we launched a new avenue to speak to business leaders and the developing youth in Ghana. Strategic Leadership and Empowerment Series (SLES) is our avenue to speak to and empower the minds of business leaders to think of the responsibility that lies on them. The series was launched with two talks, one by ‘Uncle’ Ebo Whyte (Roverman Productions) and Bernandino Koku Avle (GJA 2017 Journalist of the Year & General Manager of CITI FM & TV). Our resolve is to deepen these conversations and engage many more. From next year, we hope to have these talks every quarter, so watch our space.
Also worth celebrating, Sikasem, a member of our space was given an honorable mention in the 2018 Ideas for Action book that was launched this year at the IMF-WBG annual meeting in Indonesia.
Also worth celebrating, Sikasem, a member of our space was given an honorable mention in the 2018 Ideas for Action book that was launched this year at the IMF-WBG annual meeting in Indonesia. Their product, Credit Locus, is basically an UBER for microloans hinged on invoice finance. The Sikasem team also represented the Shed as one of the businesses from the first European-Ghanaian Startup night pitch. Their pitch in the European-Ghanaian start-up night was a part of the engagements we have with AHK Ghana, the German delegation that represents German business interests in Ghana. Our work with AHK also involved building comprehensive database on the Ghanaian start-up ecosystem. A completed report will be shared once the report is complete.
In 2018, we sought to make more meaningful partnerships that could develop not just our business but the wider start-up ecosystem. We partnered with Developers in Vogue, to be venue host for their quarterly meetups and team meetings. Developers in Vogue aims at creating a relevant community of highly skilled female developers who are passionate about using technology to revolutionize Africa and beyond. At the heart of what DIV does is having a firm belief that African women have the potential to lead in science, technology, engineering and mathematics. As a business that aims to be an inspiration for the next generation of African entrepreneurs, this partnership has proved instrumental.
We also had the opportunity to work with Echo House on the second Social Media Week Accra. SMW Accra is a conference that brings together professionals in the media, marketing and technology spaces. The mission is to give professionals at the intersection of media, marketing and technology the insights, ideas and opportunities they need to advance themselves and their organizations in a globally connected world. We managed a coworking space at the main event venue, Accra Mall and also had the privilege of hosting masterclasses with the likes of Abimbola Roli Craig of Skinny Girl in Transit fame; Steve Babeko, CEO of X3M and Chenel Ferreira. Workshed also had a slot to speak on the topic of “Office on the go” as part of our work in the new working innovations the nation is seeing.
SFAN was another partnership we were excited to be a part of. We came together for their maiden Student Entrepreneurship week where they organized entrepreneurship competitions. The startups that won are currently being supported by Workshed.
Also, through our partnership with Enpact Startup Mentoring from Germany, we have been able to organize a number of trainings and mentoring workshops for local entrepreneurs. Enpact through their mentoring program, provided resource people who are experienced in various fields to guide entrepreneurs in their journey.
Overall, we’d call the year 2018 a very successful year and are grateful for the growth of the business and relationships that were created and/or strengthened. We are ready for the all the greatness that 2019 promises to be! Merry Christmas and a happy new year!