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Barclays Black Founder Accelerator 2021:
Afroqliq Limited

 

AFROQLIQ represents a convenient, one-stop shop offering the widest range of African and Caribbean products and services.

We understand shopping for ethnic products can be challenging so our platform and on-demand delivery service have been developed to make this more accessible and convenient for consumers.

Why did you join the Barclays Black Founder Accelerator?

I joined this unique programme to develop new skills, get support and learn vital tools to enable me improve and scale my business.
 

Why did you want to start your business?

The idea came up as a solution to the challenges I went through when I first arrived in the UK from Ghana as a Masters student at the Nottingham Trent University.

I struggled getting access to Ghanaian and African products for that matter, since I didn't know the town and these businesses didn't have any online presence. Winter was fast approaching and it took some friends I had made months after arriving to show me where all the Ghanaian and African restaurants and groceries shops were located in the town. As if that wasn't challenging enough, getting to these shops were a different challenge all together, especially when you don't drive.

Having experienced first hand the challenges of shopping for African-Caribbean products, which is also a wide spread problem within the black community, Afroqliq was born. A platform and on-demand delivery service to make African-Caribbean products readily available sand accessible for consumers.
 

What would be your desired outcome from this programme?

First to develop new skills, ideas and get vital tools to improve and scale Afroqliq. Secondly to gain access to funding to improve Afroqliq services and scale across the UK.
 

Which entrepreneur inspires you the most and why?

There are a number of entrepreneurs I follow closely who inspire me with their work. Dentaa Amoateng MBE, founder of GUBA is one of such persons.

She has over the last 10 years established her brand in the UK and successfully exported the GUBA brand to the USA and Ghana within the last few years. She does all these in addition to being a wife, mother, board member of Ghana Tourism Authority, Managing member of Asante Kotoko FC, among others.

Her story from a very humble beginning to where she is now is very inspiring.
 

What has been your biggest win in your entrepreneurial journey?

Afroqliq without a doubt. Feedback from customers such as ""I never thought a time will come when I can order my yam, plantain, etc from the African shop directly from the comfort of my home"" tells me we are doing something right. We are far from where we want to be as a business but at the same time we have come very far and will keep hard to make Afroqlqiq a house hold name.

What has been your biggest challenge?

Afroqliq have been my biggest challenge as an entrepreneur to date. Looking back at something that started as an idea in 2017 and having the courage to persevere all these years to be where we are now as a business have been financially and emotionally challenging.

There are some big industry players doing something similar to Afroqliq. As a business with very little capital it makes it difficult staying competitive in the such an industry, so we always have to challenge ourselves to be innovative in our doings to stay in business.
 

Where did you go for business advice and how did it help you?

We get business advise from different sources depending on the business need. The source ranges from individual subject expert, experience of team members, articles and observing our competitors.
 

What drives you to make your business a success?

The desire to see African-Caribbean products readily available and accessible in the UK. We aim to cover the whole of UK so that when people move from one city to the other, they can shop with Afroqliq without necessarily knowing where the shops are located in the city.

Afroqliq will also serve as a community for businesses to have an online presence, serving as another means of generating income without having to always depend on people coming into the shop.
 

What advice would you give other founders thinking about starting their own business?

You should have so much desire and passion for what you do to be able to withstand difficult times and not give up.

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