The coronavirus spotlighted the inequalities perpetuated by our economy and society. As many businesses continue to adapt to the impacts of the coronavirus, one of Dua-Pa’s aims seeks to aid the strengthening of local economies by building a myriad of connections with business and entrepreneurs to create and develop engaged communities and networks so that we can support, educate and challenge while alleviating some of the inequalities in livelihoods in our economy and society.
Businesses need sustainability but the reality behind business substantiality beyond a pandemic is that most African SMEs wrestle with measuring their own sustainability efforts and communicating these efforts to their customers. They’re often constrained by factors such as the ability to effectively study and utilise social media, marketing skills, networking, mentoring, coaching and access to funding or knowledge on the acquisition of thereof. Dua-Pa’s Project 841 offers to help bridge these gaps, through a multi-stakeholder platform traditionally known as a collaboration. Many a time, these initiatives tend to oblige to the most stable, leaving the least stable drive the overall agenda but not on Project 841. All opportunities are equal and available to every collaborator.
The second project dubbed ‘Yaa Asantewaa – Warriors Win Together’ launched on 20th August 2020 where 9 female entrepreneurs collaborated with a fabulous showcasing of their works via a photoshoot. They have benefited from networking, a social media marketing 5-day course and are yet to receive useful resources on funding with local stakeholders, mentoring and coaching with partners One2One Mentoring, another UK based charity enabling a pathway of success to promote self-improvement, selffulfilment, and empowerment in women of African and Caribbean origin. It was also to shirk off the idea that women are incapable of working together. Our budding young models who are also aspiring towards medical professions will be gaining from this grounding mentoring and coaching.
Across the globe, we have experienced the movement that is Black Lives Matter where the African diaspora have reawakened to the fact that we need to build stronger black owned economies abroad and on the African continent. Dua-Pa’s Project 841 model seeks to enable just that by additionally helping to create Ghana’s competitive advantage through an exceptionally localised operation – collaborations.
Effie Grant, founder of Dua-Pa explained, “Michael Porter’s, The Competitive Advantage of Nations gave me one of the best perspectives in envisioning how Dua-Pa in a small way can enable Ghana’s agenda to be free off aid and generally in building a revered Africa. He suggests that a nation’s competitiveness depends on its industry’s capacity to innovate and upgrade. This innovation, however, significantly incremental and mundane, hinges on an accumulation of pocket-sized insights and breakthroughs which often entail ideas that are not even new. They are ideas that have been around but have never been vigorously pursued and he’s right because what’s new about the idea of collaboration, right – but simply the fact that as a nation and a people we have not rigorously pursued it.”
Project 841, A Dua-Pa Initiative: Yaa Asantewaa, Warriors Win Together
Collaborations for Building Stronger Economies and National Competitive Advantage
She goes on, “according to Porter in the same vain companies gain competitive advantage against the world’s best competitors because of pressure and challenge, they benefit from having strong domestic rivals, aggressive home-based suppliers, and demanding local customers. If we can anticipate both foreign and domestic needs, we are opportune to that competitive advantage but even more shrewd in the era of building strong black owned economies, if we can respond to any concerns or circumstances that are distinctive to our home markets then we can obstruct any international competitive triumphs, so that made in Ghana keeps winning. By driving strong domestic rivals who are educated, resourceful and experts in their fields businesses can measure their own sustainability and concurrently build our nation’s competitive advantage. This is the positive lasting change Dua-Pa’s Project 841 seeks to deliver.”
“I’m incredibly thankful to my mother for portraying the queen mother in the all essential photoshoot for launch. The ladies and their businesses who came on the Yaa Asantewaa journey, Hats Code Millinery, Nyirabea Appenteng, Sharon O Photography, Beryl Luxury Bags, Bridal Glow Artistry, Crown Your Feet, Joyous Creations, Alegnaa and creative director
Fnetia. It’s never goodbye but take a seat.”
Dua-Pa’s next project heads to Kormantse in the Central Region of Ghana where local tradesmen and artisans will collaborate and offer apprenticeship to rebuild a local school’s library and ICT centre while providing uniforms for the neediest as a new school calendar year begins. I’m particularly excited about both the social impact and community engagement. If you’d like to donate in kind or cash to this project or participate in future projects, please visit www.dua-pa.com for more information.
2nd September 2020
Founder, Effie Grant