Mar 17 2021
Kwasi Godson

Written by: I.K Adusei

Dr. Patrick Awuah, Founder Ashesi University

In his Best Selling Book How To Start Small: Financial Skills For Business Success, I.K Adusei, Founder & CEO of The ABN Organization had this to share.

Most people love to start big businesses or enter capital intensive business ventures from the start. So they choose to find a good job to raise enough capital and experience.

It is tough to start capital intensive businesses. It makes a lot of sense to brace yourself up financially before you launch yourself into such a business. Capital intensive businesses may also require high corporate network and managerial skills to be profitable. Finding a job to raise capital and skill here is a worthwhile activity.

For example, setting up an auto parts manufacturing company, an airline company, a university, etc. requires a lot of start-up capital and know-how. One may need to save and invest for a long time to be able to start such business ventures.

The nature of the business also requires a robust and resolute business model coupled with an excellent market survey. Any trial and error here will result in dire financial consequences.

Graduates who want to succeed in this area, can find a job in the area of their interest, learn on the job and attain the needed skill and capital before they go-all-out on their own.

The problem arises often when graduates with the desire to establish capital intensive businesses find jobs in sectors unrelated to their field of interest.

This type of dream more often than not becomes a pipe dream. The challenge is not that of capital alone. Capital intensive businesses require a high level of know-how and give less room for trial and error. Any technical glitch in the initial stages can result in the owners landing themselves in a dire financial mess which could take years or forever to overcome.


Another challenge is the ability to have a resolute entry and exit strategy. To be able to find a job, raise capital and exit a company tomorrow to start your own, you need to have a safe and secure entry and exit strategy. With this, I mean you start by having the end in mind.

Failure to carefully plan one’s entry and exit strategy will cause workers to fall in the 9 am -5 pm trap which most working adults find themselves in. This is a stressful lifestyle associated with working long hours just to make ends meet.

The struggle from paycheque to paycheque leaves unsuspecting workers with little or no money to invest in their dreams. It is an uncanny roller-coaster ride which makes one a perfect fit in someone else’s business at the expense of the freedom that comes with running your own business. Many unfortunate people without an entry and exit strategy break their back all day long to help other people accomplish their dreams at the expense of their own health and financial freedom. This is what we term in the corporate circles as the rat race.                                                                 

 Most unhappy working adults find themselves in this tight yet inevitable situation. Don’t be one of them.


Dr. Patrick Awuah, Founder of Ashesi had an exit strategy when he applied for a high paying job with the Silicon Valley Company, Microsoft. As an ambitious young man, he managed to enter Swarthmore College with a full scholarship from Ghana.

After his undergraduate studies at Swarthmore College in the USA where he graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Engineering and Economics, young Patrick landed a high paying job at Microsoft.

From 1989-1997, Dr. Patrick Awuah worked with Microsoft as a Software Engineer and Programs Manager. There he spearheaded the development of the dial-up internetworking technologies. He was widely praised for his exceptional ability to solve major hydra-headed engineering problems during his time there.

As an employee of Microsoft, Patrick had the dream of establishing an institution of higher learning in the areas

 of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) among other academic disciplines in Africa. The vision was to set up a citadel of learning in Africa that will provide world-class academic tuition comparable to Ivy League Colleges in the USA to raise the next generation of contemporary African leaders.

Ashesi University Campus Now

As part of his exit strategy, Patrick quit his job at Microsoft in 1997 and enrolled in UC Berkeley’s Hass School of Business the same year to focus his attention on building a business plan for Ashesi. At school, he travelled to Ghana with some of his colleague graduate students to conduct a feasibility study on the prospects of setting up a private university in Ghana.

After graduating in 1999, he moved back to Ghana with his wife Rebecca Awuah, a Software Testing Engineer who Patrick met at Microsoft. They later became the Founders of Ashesi University.

Finding a job to raise capital to set up a capital intensive business requires a robust entry and exit plan. Only a tactical few will succeed with this approach.

Source: How To Start Small, Financial Skills For Business Success by I.K Adusei