Named amongst the top 100 student entrepreneurs in Ghana by SYENet, Mainprice Essuman is the founder and C.E.O of MP Concepts, a graphic designing group. He was nominated by Marine City Awards of UCC as Student entrepreneur of the year and have had the opportunity to talk about his work on ATL FM. With experience, he’s had the chance to work with so many departments, denominations and event houses on campus and outside the campus.
Name: Mainprice Essuman
School: University Of Cape Coast
Year: Level 400
Course: BSc. Medical Laboratory Science
Name of Company: MP Concepts
SYENet: What/Who inspired your entrepreneurial journey?
Mainprice: At Senior High School, computers were something I loved. I used to do almost everything the computer would be needed in doing for people for free. With time, I realised I had to concentrate on an aspect of the computer so that I would be able to make something good there. I found graphic designing interesting and so I paid someone while in the second year of the university to teach me.
I began by doing people’s work for free. The interest grew as people’s love for my work grew as well. With time something that started for free turned into a business and grew to what we know now as the MP Concepts.
SYENet: How did you raise your startup capital?
Mainprice: I did not need physical money to start. All I needed was my laptop. First I had to pay someone to teach me graphic designing while in school because it was something I loved. From there I began to do people’s work for free and at times for a token until I realised that I could give a little of my time to it, so as to make something for myself because I realised people loved what I was doing. I created some partnership with the printing presses I worked with and so it was easier for me to have my work done and later paid.
So all I needed for the start was my laptop and my skills.
SYENet: What significant successes have you chalked so far in business?
Mainprice: I take so much delight in the recognition I get from colleagues and friends. Even though it has been a short while since I started this startup, the feedback has been great. In 2016, I was nominated by Marine City Awards of UCC as Student entrepreneur of the year. I was also listed among the Top 100 Student Entrepreneurs in Ghana by SYENet in 2016. For three times, I have had the opportunity to talk about my work on ATL Fm.
At school, I can comfortably say we are one of the top graphic designing groups on campus as MP Concepts has become a household name on campus.
We are currently one of two main graphic designers for the School’s SRC and A week on Campus, a radio program on ATL FM, 100.5MHz. I have had the chance to work with so many departments, denominations and event houses on campus and outside the campus.
I believe the future is bright.
SYENet: How have you combined studies and work so successfully?
Mainprice: To be frank, it has not been easy at all combining a program like mine and business. The program alone demands its own special attention and has virtually nothing to do with graphic designing and embroidery. The good thing is I enjoy doing both. I believe that the main reason I came to school is my books and so I do everything possible to put my books ahead of business. I respect time a lot. I had to limit some social activities to concentrate on what I am doing.
It has not been that easy combining the two but so far it’s been quite interesting.
SYENet: What challenges do you face as a Student Entrepreneur and how do you overcome them?
Mainprice: My biggest challenge is combining business with academics. That has not been easy at all. Sometimes I wish I could quit my business but someway somehow some forces encourage me to push on. I am able to cope with this by respecting time and limiting my involvement in some activities.
Financial challenges had also been a problem. There are times that I want to push some huge contracts but because I don’t have enough funds to push them, I get discouraged. I have some bigger plans in mind but my financial strength is not able to allow me to push them.
SYENet: After School, what are your entrepreneurial plans?
Mainprice: I hope to make the same impact I have made with MP Concepts in UCC in Ghana in the near future. I hope to see myself handling a sizable graphic designing and embroidery firm that could meet the needs of everyone. After school, I will continue to work on the links I have created, learn more to sharpen my skills and to work towards my dream of having my own graphic designing and embroidery firm that would cater for people’s graphic designing, printing and embroidery needs.
Talking about a firm, I established a small one with a friend at Swedru, but I went home during one vacation to realise I have been cheated. The business has currently collapsed but after school, I will surely raise it up again.
SYENet: What supports do you need to scale up your business?
Mainprice: Internally, I would need to sharpen my skills a little more to stay relevant in this game. The interesting thing about my business is that there’s always something to be learnt.
I would also need capital support to help me push some plans I have in mind.
SYENet: What are the top 5 lessons you have learnt in business so far?
- There’s always a room for improvement
- Human relation is a key for a growth in business
- Trust is something you don’t want to play with
- Let your works speak for themselves
- The more you learn and practice, the more you become better at what you do.
SYENet: What advice do you have for other students?
Mainprice: I always say that there are so many opportunities around us. I love to explore. I will advise my friends to explore as well. Till you start, you may never know what you stand to gain. Let us grab little opportunities presented to us and make something good out of them.
To student entrepreneurs, we have a responsibility to make ourselves trustworthy. It’s not an easy journey but it’s always worth the effort. Love what you do and let us pray God for a better future. I pray for the best for all students in Ghana.
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