The coolest startups are those that offer services particularly targeted to other startups. Emma Maame Efua Tandoh started Outspoken Edge in 2015 to offer digital marketing services for entrepreneurs looking to scale up their businesses. It gets even better, Outspoken Edge focuses on women-led businesses. Say yes to girl power!
Since it’s inception, Emma has guided Outspoken Edge to new heights which she credits to what she learned at SheHive Accra earlier this year. Outspoken Edge has also been part of the Tony Elumelu Entrepreneurship Programme. We learned about digital marketing in Ghana and what proud moments feel like when you’ve achieved a lot.
What’s the digital marketing scene like in Ghana? How does Outspoken Edge fit in (or not)?
The digital marketing scene has undergone a transformation in Ghana. Over the years, it’s seeing a lot of new players, including Outspoken Edge, which I founded in May 2015. What differentiates us from the others is our focus on startups and SMEs.
We realized that a lot of our competitors were focused on providing services for big businesses and multi-nationals. There was an opportunity for us to make an impact because there are a growing number of burgeoning entrepreneurs who had great ideas and would need help scaling their business.
As a entrepreneur myself, I had a first-hand experience of how hard it is to want to stay lean but also market and scale your business as quickly as possible. So, its always easy to understand the peculiar needs of the brands and businesses we manage.
Why did you decide to focus on providing services for women-led businesses?
Let’s face it, over the last year, we’re hearing a lot about women in agriculture, women in tech, women in business. Clearly, a lot more women have taken up the challenge and are ready to lead in their respective fields and charter their own courses through entrepreneurship.
Over the last few years, economists and academics have trumpeted and continue to agree that women entrepreneurs are an under-tapped force that can rekindle economic expansion. So, the question is, why not women-led businesses?
At Outspoken Edge, we simply saw a gap in the market and seized an opportunity to make impact. We (women) are the future of business, we’re the future of our respective economies. We believe if we can help one woman effectively scale their business online using digital tools, then that’s progress. If we can help more, that’s success.
Why do you think you were chosen to be part of the Tony Elumelu Entrepreneurship Programme?
The 2016 cohort of the Tony Elumelu Entrepreneurship Programme is made up of men and women from diverse backgrounds in Africa. These are entrepreneurs who are challenging the status-quo and with their exploits, products and services. They are leading a new generation of Africans who have the grit, tenacity and attitude to transform their continent.
Outspoken Edge is no different from these businesses. What helps us stand tall is our passion and commitment to our work. Also, our resolve to leave a legacy and inspire others on the same journey to be great and make an impact in our communities and in the world.
You mentioned that SheHive Accra helped grow your business. Tell us how
SheHive Accra was really a turning point in my career, I must say. I had Outspoken Edge registered in May of 2015 but for several months, I was afraid to take the plunge into full-time entrepreneurship. I knew this was definitely what I wanted to dedicate my life to but there were questions and concerns, lots of them.
In January, when I heard She Leads Africa was going to be in Accra, I quickly applied. Over a week, armed myself with so much practical and useful business development, financial and marketing knowledge. It was exhilarating.
I met other women entrepreneurs from Ghana and other countries and we shared our experiences and challenges. One of my biggest takeaways was a session on marketing where we were taught how to put together a marketing research survey. We worked in groups and were asked to put our questions to the test by going out individually to speak to potential businesses and clients.
This wasn’t just a great way to test the knowledge that had been imparted but also to reach out and speak to real people and with my survey questions. I was able to sign up a new client for Outspoken Edge after just 40 minutes of interviewing a shop manager in one of the malls in Accra.
SheHive Accra was that jolt I need to get my business off the ground. The experience was one of my best this year and I’m most grateful for the new opportunities and partnerships.
Having achieved quite a lot already, what would you say you’re most proud of when it comes to your work?
Proud moments for me are when I get great feedback from clients.
Our business only exists because of those we serve. So, it’s always great to receive great testimonials and feedback from the brands we work with.
If you’d like to share your story with She Leads Africa, let us know more about you and your story here.