Levers in Heels interviews the CEO of Qwiqspace
- Tell us about yourself, how you grew up, and your educational background (secondary and tertiary).
I grew up in the capital city of Ghana to a family of six as the last but one child. Growing up, it was mostly expected of us to follow in certain footsteps as is typical of most African families, especially where I come from. Parents had a major influence in one’s life; the clothes you wear, the friends you hang out with, your field of study, even your life partner. This influenced somehow, the early stages of my adulthood. I had my high school education at Tema Secondary School where I studied General Science. Coming from a family of Scientists, I developed an interest for the study of all things Science. It was pretty interesting to be referred to as a Science student those days in high school because these students were perceived to be “sharks” (very intelligent). The greatest moments for me were when it was time for laboratory practicals, Biology especially followed by Chemistry. In fact, I thought I wanted to be a Pharmacist. But I must admit that the chemical equations weren’t as easy as I thought (laughs). The tutor didn’t help either. Fast forwarding, I gained admission into the University of Ghana to pursue a Bachelor of Science degree in Agriculture with Agribusiness as my major eventually. However after University, I began to realize that there was much more to life than only mastering scientific theories and equations. I began to get curious about other subject areas as well. I wanted to be able to do more and challenge my abilities. I must admit again that I like to explore different things. So the journey into something other than Science began…
- You seem to have a passion for technology. What inspired this?
The reason for my passion for technology is simple. “If things can be done faster, with less human power and more so save time, that’s something definitely worth looking into”. My inspiration for technology stemmed from the fact that human lives could get easier and better and I became really obsessed with the idea of being among the creators and builders of these things.
- Tell us about your latest project Qwiqspace and its purpose.
Qwiqspace is a web technology I, together with my team of two built to make finding and booking event venues easily, starting from Ghana. Having worked in the corporate sector for some time, I realized one common problem when it came to organizing events. People didn’t have much clue first of all as to which venues would be most suitable for their events and where to find these. This often resulted in endless discussions, taking away productive hours at work. With a thousand and one venues scattered all across the capital and other cities in Ghana, it becomes extremely difficult when one has to settle on a particular venue especially within limited time and budget. Reason being that, there is not just one place where one could visit to find readily available information on a venue’s capacity, price, the location, facilities available, availability for the event date, and many others to be able to compare the many options and make a choice. So I founded Qwiqspace to address this challenge. Qwiqspace is a website where people can easily find, compare and book event venues online. See here: www.qwiqspace.com
- How is technology changing the event business landscape in Ghana?
I’d say technology is gradually making the event business less stressful especially with the launch of web apps like Qwiqspace. However, there is still a huge gap to be filled. Even with the availability of internet, a huge number of event businesses are not online making it difficult to discover them. A few are using Instagram and Facebook to their advantage but there’s still more room for improvement and I’m looking forward to a lot more innovations in the sector.
- What one thing would you like to see changed in your home country of Ghana?
It’s simple, the educational system. I believe the success of a nation is first possible when the citizens have the right mindset and attitude. Unfortunately, our current educational system is highly focused on academic learning and excellence rather than intellect. We need more intellectuals to think, ask questions, challenge norms, “break rules,” critically analyze and then act. Let’s start from the scratch, allowing kids to dismantle and assemble Lego, toys, clay etc. It’s one of the surest ways their minds are quizzed to be thinkers, and creators and innovators then and in the future.
- What advice would you give to anyone trying to transition into STEM careers?
I’d say find the passion, that one thing that is great and exciting for you and be sure your own self influenced this journey so that you can keep going even when tough. Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics are heroic fields to venture into but to your knowledge of these, add some life skills, some business skills, some communication skills and you are good to go.
This interview was granted by the CEO, Elorm Abusah and originally published at http://leversinheels.com/featured/qwiqspace-the-new-experience-for-booking-event-venues-in-ghana/#.XX-f2Sj7TIV