GUBA Expo, a two day Business event held at the Charlton Athletic Football Club on Friday 7th and Saturday 8th November 2014, sent the Royal Borough of Greenwich buzzing
The GUBA Expo, powered by GUBA Awards, was an event connecting Ghanaian Small and Medium Businesses (SMBs) with procurement experts, with the aim of cementing trade and business relations between the UK and Ghana. The expo was endorsed and attended by several dignitaries including: Ghana Minister of Tourism, Culture and Creative Arts – Mrs Elizabeth Ofosu-Agyare, Greenwich and Woolwich MP Nick Raynsford, Mayor of Greenwich David Grant, Councillor John Fahy and a host of other invited guests.
The expo commenced with a message read on behalf of Hon Victor Smith, the Ghana High Commissioner to the UK, in which he expressed his support for the GUBA Expo and the necessity of strengthening trade relations between Ghana and the UK.
The Ghana Minister of Tourism – Mrs Elizabeth Ofosu-Agyare also emphasised the need for more initiatives like the GUBA Expo in promoting Ghanaian businesses. “There are a range of impressive investment opportunities in Ghana and the Made in Ghana products on offer today are just a sample of what we have to offer as a people. I urge everyone to invest and support Made in Ghana products” she added.
Project Manager Gillian Appau said the event ‘’will mark the beginning of opening exciting new doors of trade and economic opportunity for Ghana and the UK.’’
Councillor John Fahy, Deputy Leader of Greenwich echoed this sentiment, commending the efforts and emphasised the importance of this joint venture in the Greenwich community.
The first day of the expo targeted established SMBs and upcoming start-ups. Workshops and discussions were held and successful brands; Blue Skies and Uncle John’s Bakery documented their rise to success and overcoming obstacles in business.
Speakers from various professional backgrounds also advised attendees on diverse topics relating to business growth. John Kennedy and Sarah Talland from Wildbore and Gibbons LLP, led a workshop on Protecting Your Brand, touching on topics such as trademarking and copyright. The Business Strategy workshop was covered by Bradley Rood from HASLERS whilst Darren Peiris from Barclays, covered the workshop on Business Proposition &Start-Up Funding. The Going Global on a Budget workshop was covered by Kubi Springer of She Builds Brands, Franklin Boateng advised on Improving Online Presence through Social Media, and Mavis Amankwah of Rich Visions concluded with a workshop on How to Pitch for Business and Win Contracts. The workshops moderated by Arnold Osafo Kantanka of MeFiRi Ghana and Andrea Opoku of Green Bean Marketing were well attended and highly informative. Speakers offered insightful business strategies for continuous growth, and attendees were offered a wealth of information and business contacts.
Attendees flocked to the products on offer on the second day of the expo. Products from Cosmetics to fashion accessories were available for purchase. Exhibitors on the day were: Black Secret Makeup, Selina Beb, Sheabutter Cottage, Obeliver Drinks, African Cases, Glory Roots, Kaela de Jean, UP Life Honey, Choco Revo, Acote Collections, Yaa Ataa Couture, Puréte Nature, Native Greetings, Shiela’s Kitchen and JN / Ghana International Money Transfer.
The CEO of PAKs Cosmetics, representatives from Tesco, ASOS and other buyers, were also in attendance. Exhibitors had the opportunity of pitching their product to these buyers. Scott Burrell of Tesco was very impressed with the products on show and was keen on stocking two of the products on display. CEO of Pak’s cosmetics which has over 28 stores in the UK was interested in stocking the Shea butter products.
Mayor David Grant expressed his delight at the products on offer “they are so many unique and vibrant products. I am especially impressed by the affordability of it” – he expressed.
Dentaa Amoateng CEO of GUBA added: “The main aim of this event was to create a direct link which connects SMBs to distributors. The GUBA Expo met my expectations because it was a great opportunity for the SMBs to speak to the buyers and get valuable tips on how to market their businesses and utilize Social Media. The seminars on day one were very informative and the SMBs have expressed how educational it was and the number of tips they will be implementing into their businesses. There is also a great possibility that products from three of the businesses, will be making their way into Tesco and ASOS”
Over the course of both days, the theme was clear: Small and Medium Businesses have fantastic products to offer, positively impacts the economy and all is needed is for the gap between production and distribution to be closed.