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Eric Vondee – SYENET Student Entrepreneur of the Week

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Meet Eric Vondee, an Actuarial Science Student of the University of Cape Coast in Ghana. A Student Entrepreneur and Founder of My Home Teacher. He has been the brain behind student-teacher networking as well as providing opportunities to parents to find well-qualified teachers to educate their children at home.

Named as part of Top 30 YOUNG GHANAIAN ACHIEVERS and co-hosted the Super Morning Show on Joy FM in February 2015. In April 2016, He received a special mention and recognition at the TedxAccra event by one of the notable speakers about his achievements. He was also named as part of Top 100 Student Entrepreneurs in Ghana. For his tremendous initiative, he was featured in interviews and publications by several top media houses in Ghana and was named “The Rising Star of Ghana” by an Indian Magazine, IUeMAG.

Brief Details:
Name: Eric Vondee
School: University of Cape Coast (UCC)
Level: 400 (Final year)
Course: Actuarial Science
Name of Company: My Home Teacher

SYENET: What/Who inspired your entrepreneurial journey?
Eric: The ability to make an impact in my world and to attain financial freedom are the propelling force for my passion for entrepreneurship. First, my mentors in this world have been my parents. Secondly, I am forever grateful to Pastor Chris Oyakhilome. Pastor Chris is a Man of God who has been in the teaching ministry to make the Word of God very practical to millions of people of which I am part. He has been a blessing to me throughout these years. He is the founder of the Believers’ Loveworld Incorporated a.k.a Chris Embassy Church. Other mentors who inspire me are Strive Masiyiwa (Founder of Econet Wireless), and Robert Kiyosaki (Founder of Rich Dad Community).

SYENET: How did you raise your startup capital?
Eric: My Home Teacher is not capital intensive. It is a business that needs little start-up capital to start with but it is a lucrative business to invest and venture into. I started with a capital less than a GHc100 ($25) which was my personal savings. The money was used for publicity of the business through online and traditional advertisements. Revenue generated out of the business was used in paying up teachers and the remaining amount was used in paying off expenses.

SYENET: What significant successes have you chalked so far in business?
Eric: My Home Teacher was nominated as the Best Student Startup in the 2016 Ghana Startup Awards. In 2016, My Home Teacher won the Best Novelty Project Award and was named as part of Top 10 Most Outstanding Startups founded by a Student. In March 2015, I was named as part of Top 30 Young Ghanaian Achievers by Newaccra Magazine. In April 2016, I received a special mention and recognition at the TEDxAccra event by one of the notable speakers, John Awuah about my achievements. In March 2017, I was named as part of Top 100 Student Entrepreneurs in Ghana and I co-authored a book that showcases the inspirational stories of 60 Changemakers in Ghana of which I am a part of these Changemakers. I have been featured in interviews and publications by several top media houses in Ghana and I was named as “The Rising Star of Ghana” by an Indian Magazine, Inspiration Unlimited Magazine (IUeMAG).

SYENET: How have you combined studies and work so successfully?
Eric: Running a business as a student has been a lively experience even though it has come with some challenges. The benefit of starting a business as a student is mind-blowing. Managing a business venture is very stressful. One of the challenges I faced is combining business and academics. There is so much stress on me trying to put up the best performance in my academics and also successfully manage my business. At times, it is unbearable but I have learnt to prioritise my time judiciously. For me, every time counts so I don’t waste my time at all in other activities that are not important to my vision and goal in life.

SYENET: What challenges do you face as a Student Entrepreneur and how do you overcome them?
Eric: Challenges are something you can’t do away with. Over the years, I have faced so many challenges ranging from finance to time management. Combining business, work and schooling at the same time is quite challenging. At times, it is unbearable but I have learnt to prioritise my time judiciously. For me, every time counts so I don’t waste my time at all in other activities that are not important to my vision and goal in life.

SYENET: After School, what are your entrepreneurial plans?
Eric: The future of Education in Ghana and Africa is very bright so as My Home Teacher. After school, I seek to expand my business while working on my career in the Media and the financial sector. My Home Teacher seeks to extend its services to all the regions in Ghana by having more teachers and parents willing to patronise this unique opportunity thereby increasing our revenue stream. In the next 5-10 years, it is our hope of automating the connection of parents to teachers using technological tools. On the part of the parents, it would ensure a fast and convenient way of finding a teacher in their locality. It would also allow parents to review the teacher’s background and competence in the field of teaching. In the long term, we wish to extend our borders to other African countries thereby influencing the lives of about 55,000 students in Africa.

SYENET: What supports do you need to scale up your business?
Eric: My Home Teacher needs support on how to market their services effectively and efficiently to increase revenue thereby leading in market share. Also, since technology is the order of the day, it is necessary to imbibe technological innovation into our services. We shall need support on how to automate the connection of teachers to parents without the manual process of connecting teachers to parents.

SYENET: What are the top 5 lessons you have learnt in business so far?
1. Have a detailed vision and mission plan for your business over a range of time.
2. Maintain a proper financial record for your business.
3. Keep on upgrading your knowledge constantly in the field of your business.
4. Strive to be innovative and find new ways of making your services better.
5. Grow your network by engaging with other business companions.

SYENET: What advice do you have for other students?
Eric: I will urge my fellow colleagues especially the African students to take advantage of the opportunities that come their way. Let us all look out for problems in our society and try to solve them rather than complaining about anything that comes our way. The only way to be successful is to look for a human need and solve them. We must focus on developing and branding our personality every day by reading insightful books. Let us also walk in our passion, do the positive things you love to do and find ways of creating wealth out of it. Be determined, ambitious and hungry for success.

Are you a student entrepreneur shaping the world of business in School? Write to us through syenet@tanoe.org to get your story featured.

Are you a student entrepreneur shaping the world of business in School? Write to us through syenet@tanoe.org to get your story featured.

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