My name is Emefa Stella Amewode and I am the founder and CEO of Pancakebourg, a mobile dessert company based in Ghana.
The name Pancakebourg is derived from the French word "bourg" which means village, hence the name Pancake Village. As a nurse by profession, I have always had a passion for both business and science. From a young age, I remember helping my classmates in home economics sell their products and being able to convince clients to make purchases.
While many people recognized my business acumen and marketing skills, I also had a love for trying out new recipes and experimenting with different types of food and snacks. With this passion and experience, I decided to establish something for myself.
In 2022, after several unsuccessful business ventures, I decided to take one last shot at creating something that I truly believed in and hoped would be accepted by all.
That's when I came up with the idea of making mini pancakes, also known as "poffertjes" in Dutch, with assorted toppings such as chocolate, fruits, and spreads. I knew that this concept would be unique and catchy for events such as birthdays, wedding receptions, and even funerals. My ultimate goal is to create an eminent domain in Pancake Desserts for events and to provide a memorable experience for our customers. With Pancakebourg, I strive to deliver high-quality products and excellent customer service.
What were the biggest initial hurdles you faced and how did you overcome them?
As I started my business, I realized that marketing was key to getting more customers. I created social media pages for Pancakebourg, posted pictures of my mini pancakes with various toppings, and shared them with friends and family who also shared them with their networks. I offered discounts for referrals and made sure to provide excellent customer service to everyone who ordered from me. At events, I made sure to have an eye-catching display with signage that clearly showed what my business was about. I also made sure to have enough samples on hand for people to try and see how delicious my mini pancakes were.
Despite the challenges I faced, I persevered and kept pushing forward. My hard work paid off, and Pancakebourg started to gain traction. People loved my mini pancakes and the unique concept of a mobile dessert company. I started getting more gigs for events, and the demand for my desserts kept increasing. With the success of Pancakebourg, I eventually made the difficult decision to leave my nursing job and focus solely on my business. It was a scary decision, but I knew that if I wanted to take my business to the next level, I needed to give it my full attention. Today, Pancakebourg is thriving, and I'm so proud of what I've been able to accomplish. As an entrepreneur, I've learned that anything is possible if you have passion, dedication, and a willingness to persevere through challenges.
What advice do you have for young people locally and internationally who are just starting out in their careers or pursuing their passions?
As a nurse, I have learned that patience is an important skill when dealing with clients. Some clients can be difficult to work with, but by being patient and understanding, I am able to provide better care and build stronger relationships with them.
Networking has been crucial to the success of my business. I have had to learn how to reach out to people and build connections with event planners, coordinators, and caterers. I have also used social media and sent samples of my mini-pancakes to offices and clients to expand my customer base.
Participating in outdoor events has also helped me to grow my business. By showcasing my product to both kids and adults, I have been able to attract new clients who are interested in booking my services for parties, engagements, ceremonies, and weddings.
Having a strong and determined team is vital to the success of any business. I am fortunate to have a team of four workers who share my vision and mission. As a boss, it is important to manage and motivate your team effectively. Recognizing and rewarding good performance is important, as is addressing and correcting any issues that may arise.
Advice for young entrepreneurs:
First and foremost, prayer is key. Before starting anything, pray and seek wisdom, knowledge, and understanding. Seek divine favor for your business.
- Recognize your strengths and weaknesses, so you know what to do and what not to do in the business.
- Start with a simple business plan and gradually expand it as needed. Take it one step at a time.
- Focus on something you're passionate about, not just something you think will sell.
- Understand your target customers and the existing market, as this will help you produce exactly what your clients need.
- Don't be afraid to ask for help, be open to new ideas, and learn new skills. Running a business is a learning process, and it's like going back to school to be taught by others.
- Be determined and prepare yourself for failure. When it happens, don't give up, but learn from it and use it to improve yourself and your business.
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