A passion to see women-led business in Africa succeed as global brands led entrepreneur Emma Tandoh to create her company, Outspoken Edge LLC, a specialist in the field of digital marketing and content development in Ghana. Her approach is to get people talking about the brands she helps to build, which in turn contributes to their success.
Outspoken Edge company founder, Emma Tandoh, shared her story this month with LoA and her ambitions for the future.
What does your company do?
Outspoken Edge Limited is a registered digital marketing and and content development business that offers a tailor-made bouquet of e-marketing, social media and content marketing and web services for SMEs and women-led businesses in Ghana and across Africa. At Outspoken Edge we believe that storytelling is a very powerful tool and a very persuasive one at that. We believe that in order to engage a brand or business’s audiences, we need to tell succinctly and aptly their true and compelling stories of their business and what they represent - and who best tells stories but a woman. When we tell the story of a business, we are telling its consumers and audiences who that business is and immediately establish a value proposition that is unsurpassed, connects and establishes loyalty. At Outspoken Edge, we help these business establish a formidable online brand which creates conversations about their brand that lead to sales conversions and makes them profitable. At the heart of what we do is the passion to see women-led business in Africa succeed as global brands.
"Outspoken Edge is focused on equipping SMEs and entrepreneurs (especially women in Africa) with the opportunity to market their businesses and grow viable businesses that can compete globally."
What inspired you to start your company?
In 2013, I started a personal shopping business as part of my “side hustle”, called Shopaholic GH. As awesome as it sounded, I did an amazing job by garnering my first few clients through word-of-mouth and was able to provide a customized, tailor-made personal shopping service for a few corporate women in Accra. However, along the way growth stagnated and I tried to reach new clients via social media. The online space as a marketing tool was very new to me at the time and the very few agencies available, charged an arm and leg to manage small businesses and side-hustles like mine. So the passion and dream to grow my business with online tools and to learn about an industry that could help so many entrepreneurs and SMEs fuelled the journey to build Outspoken Edge.
Why should anyone use your service or product?
Outspoken Edge is focused on equipping SMEs and entrepreneurs (especially women in Africa) with the opportunity to market their businesses and grow viable businesses that can compete globally. By focusing on women-led businesses, we are encouraging the next generation of women to dream and take their destinies into their own hands. We provide tailor-made and affordable digital marketing packages for entrepreneurs and small businesses. We also provide training sessions that educate women and equip them with know-how on affordable and effective online and ICT tools and marketing techniques that help scale their businesses. We have a social entrepreneurship model that gives back to society by helping women in the informal sector grow their trade and business.
"By focusing on women-led businesses, we are encouraging the next generation of women to dream and take their destinies into their own hands."
Tell us a little about your team
Our team is made up of young, passionate African storytellers, creatives and developers who are excited and more than committed to the work we do.
Share a little about your entrepreneurial journey. And, do you come from an entrepreneurial background?
I was raised by Mom (who was an entrepreneur-at-heart) and a librarian whose hard-work and discipline continues to influence my career and my business. 15 years ago, I watched my mother move from a stressful job in the Ghanaian public sector to a rewarding and fulfilling life unravelling her passions in her life as an entrepreneur. Her decision to venture into this arduous, lifelong journey spurred me on and nurtured my passion to respond to my own calling as an entrepreneur.
What are your future plans and aspirations for your company?
Outspoken Edge hopes to provide employment for young women graduates. We are also aiming to be Africa's go-to-agency for SMEs and entrepreneurs and we hope to provide digital marketing services for 100 African businesses within the next 5 years; and within the next 2 years to build the company's first mobile application that helps women in the informal sector get access to quick and effective marketing solutions for their trade and business. At the moment, we’re structuring the business to provide more value to our existing and new clients. I’m also a part of this year's Tony Elumelu Entrepreneurship Programme 2016 cohort and I'm utilizing the training I’m currently receiving from the TEEP online portal and my mentor to improve my service offerings and take the business to the entrepreneurs and SMEs that need it most. Our goal is to stay lean, provide excellent services and grow steadily. It’s absolutely amazing to be an entrepreneur right now and we’re definitely going to make a lot of impact with Outspoken Edge.
"It’s absolutely amazing to be an entrepreneur right now and we’re definitely going to make a lot of impact with Outspoken Edge."
What gives you the most satisfaction being an entrepreneur?
The knowledge that the work I do is positively impacting someone's business gives me the most satisfaction as an entrepreneur. My very first client was a small Ghanaian coffee shop in Accra. Over a cup of coffee one Tuesday at lunch, I was able to convince the owner to help market her 17-year old coffee shop/bistro online. With a little over $50 each month for over a period of a year and cost-effective online marketing techniques and tools, I was able to get more millenials and upwardly mobile corporates (main KPI) to frequent her establishment, thereby raking in a little more in sales and allowing her a continent wide recognition on Ventures Africa. That kind of success is truly satisfying.
What's the biggest piece of advice you can give to other women looking to start-up?
Do it already! It's important to take the leap and make the mistakes early. Don't let the fear stop you; just jump and build your wings on the way down. As an entrepreneur, it’s important to be self-motivated and constantly create opportunities for yourself. In my career, I’ve had absolutely nothing handed out to me on a silver platter and there's no shortcut to the success you envision for your business. For some of us, especially women, we will have challenges and we will go through more struggles than anyone else, but it's all about perspective. Once you see the struggles as stepping stones, a whole new world of adventures awaits you. Lastly, be constantly looking out to pay it forward and be an inspiration. So many of us women make it to the top and forget to reach out and guide other women to make it to the top as well. It's more than important that we all succeed.
Contact or follow Outspoken Edge
Why LoA loves it….
At LoA, we love those women entrepreneurs who understand the power of being part of a positive, nurturing ecosystem that supports the growth and development of other women entrepreneurs on the African continent. Through her company, Outspoken Edge, Emma Tandoh is playing her part in enabling that ecosystem to grow, and with it, a new generation of women entrepreneurs who are being encouraged and supported to grow and thrive. --- Melanie Hawken, founder and CEO of Lionesses of Africa