German chancellor Angela Merkel may have expected to meet a handful of young entrepreneurs at the Impact Hub in Ghana’s capital Accra last Thursday, and engage them briefly to get a glimpse of their start-ups as part of her visit to West Africa.
She may not have expected the little gift one of them had readied for her though.
Brand E, a start-up which provides eco-friendly packaging solutions to other businesses with its branded paper bags, had a custom-made paper bag ready for the German chancellor with her image on it.
Merkel spoke with the leaders of six other businesses at the start-up exhibition in Accra, namely Dext Technologies, Zaacoal, Gizzeo, Salbix Foods, Qualitrace and Sesi Technologies but the paper bag by Brand E was no doubt a delight to her.
She later had it posted on her official Instagram account, the only post she made of her interaction with the young Ghanaian entrepreneurs that she met.
If the custom-made paper bag had the German Chancellor’s attention, it had to have the attention of the German cameramen accompanying her also.
And Brand E’s Henrietta Adjetey who’s very passionate about her paper bag business was delighted as well. Who wouldn’t?
Merkel also went on to have a lounge discussion about Ghana’s entrepreneurship space with eight other startups: Soronko Academy, Chalkboard, Ghalani, Farmerline, Mobile Web Ghana, Developers in Vogue, Trotro Tractor and MydocGh.
While helping other businesses to competitively package their products, Brand E’s paper bags also help to reduce plastic waste and pollution. In view of that, the Brand E team shared with Merkel a report by Ellen MacArthur Foundation launched in 2016 which says there’ll be more plastic than fish in the sea by the year 2050 unless a lot of progress is made in reducing pollution.
That “progress” is not the work of business giants alone. Somewhere in Accra, a young business is playing its part, one paper bag at a time.