Seth Adu Gyampoh graduated from University of Cape Coast in 2004 with a commerce degree and certificate in Java programming and business computing. After working for a local audit firm, he left to start a media business with a fellow graduate. The two young men created ads, multi-media events, and other promotions for about ten clients by the end of 2005, including Ghana Today Internet Services.
But in typical entrepreneurial fashion, then they identified a need—business technology services–and determined that they could fill it. Seth and his partner noted that most local companies did not know or take seriously the importance of data gathering and information processing such as business documentation and reporting. Few if any clients had the means to pay for software and information technology services. So Seth and his colleague thought to start developing their own business process management software for Small to Medium Enterprises (SME) as a subsidiary of the advertising agency.
After hearing about the 2006 Believe Begin Become Business Plan Competition, Seth decided to participate with two different business models: a Web 2.0 technology company to offer internet/mobile-based business applications and digital content; and Steward Solutions, an applications development company to computerize SMEs’ business resources (e.g., procedure manuals and policies) which would effectively improve their organizations. The second business idea not only survived but in fact became a national finalist. Seth was trained in the practicalities of business through the BBB’s mini-MBA classes, connected with a large potential colleague and customer network, and gained $5,000 seed money—which he applied to registering their business and purchasing office laptops and furniture. He is very grateful to TechnoServe for introducing him to his mentor who has guided the company through its early stages and now is Steward’s Chairman of the Board of Directors. In fact his mentor and follow-up from TechnoServe after the BBB competition have been critical factors in Steward’s success to date.
As of February 2009, Seth is Managing Director of Steward Solutions which employs the two Founders plus six full time staff, including two at client sites. There are five part-time professionals also supporting the management team, whom Seth hopes will become full-time once the company reaches critical revenue mass. Across Africa, both secondary school and university graduates have difficulty finding jobs outside of government, banks and major corporations. With just current plans, Seth will employ 12 talented young Ghanaians who might have been struggling to succeed in the infant IT profession.