[Startup Interview] Peter Anowie, CEO, Kolics Company, Ghana
Ghana-based startup Kolics Company Limited has been in the business of manufacturing ecofriendly footwear from recycled materials since 2017.
It has been working with the youth as a way of addressing unemployment and encouraging them to take care of the environment. Peter Anowie, the startup’s CEO elaborates.
Give us a brief introduction of Kolics Company Limited?
Kolics Company Limited is a social enterprise that owns the Koliko Wear brand. It was established in Takoradi-Ghana in 2017. It provides customers with quality and affordable ladies and gents footwear. We produce shoes for all and deliver on our promise. We use recycled materials (used car tires,waste leather bags, pieces of furniture woolen materials, used jeans and clothing) for our shoes because we believe in the protection of the environment through business philosophy.
Why was it formed and to what extent has it achieved its purpose?
Kolics Company Limited was established to provide quality and environmentally-friendly shoes to all customers. We also set up this business to support skilled youth who do not have the opportunity to start their own business by engaging them and developing innovative products around their skills. We identified that most unskilled youth had the interest to learn a skill to improve their livelihood but usually lacked the financial assistance to pay for and undergo apprenticeship training to learn a trade.
Our business model, therefore, designed a system that enables willing youth who want to learn how to make shoes to enroll in our apprenticeship training for free. We are proud to say we have enrolled 5 young personnel on that scheme and have also given free practical opportunities to 2 female fashion students from the Technical University.
Who are your clients?
Koliko Wear’s clients are consumers who are in need of quality and affordable shoes; consumers all over the globe who are environmentally conscious.
What do you consider your greatest selling points?
Our competitive edge is in the ecofriendliness of Koliko Wear products and also, the positive contribution one makes to the protection of the environment when they patronize our products.
What is the greatest threat to your business?
People’s attitudes towards locally manufactured products in Africa and the lack of awareness of the need to patronize ecofriendly shoes over the others are the greatest threats to my business.
How has the market responded to your services?
Since we started, consumers have and are still responding to our products positively because they have seen the need to support green startup brands like Koliko Wear, in order to promote mechanisms for raising capacity for effective climate change-related planning and management in Ghana. People have also realised how important it is to help improve our education on climate change mitigation by the use of sustainable ecofriendly raw materials for our production.
What are the ambitions of the company in 2020?
Our ambition for 2020 is to be a shoe industry producing green shoes that consumers all over Africa will be proud to wear and make them feel they are contributing towards a genuine cause.
Any new developments from your company?
We are working hard to get more sophisticated machinery and a bigger workspace to enable the production of shoes that meet international standards using 100 per cent recycled materials.
Who should contact you and why?
There is a saying : “when the last tree dies,the last man dies”. Therefore, there is the need for the whole world to rally behind and patronize green businesses like Koliko Wear to help achieve their goals of turning large quantities of waste materials into innovative footwear products and in the process, create employment for the youth as well as protect our environment.
Africa Business Communities is conducting a series of interviews with startup businesses in Africa.
Are you a startup in Africa and interested in an interview? Great! Send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org