Lioness Weekender spoke to the change-making founder of EDEL Technology Consulting, Ethel Cofie, to find out more about her unique entrepreneurial journey and her vision for the future of her core business and for Women in Tech Africa.
When did your start your business?:
I started Edel Technology Consulting in 2010 and founded Women in Tech Africa in 2015.
What does your company do?
Edel Technology Consulting is an IT Consulting Firm that provides IT consulting services such as software development, IT audit services, business continuity plans, etc. We work to develop strategies in building IT software and apps to bring your IT services to an acceptable standard. So, in our business, we use strategy and technology to bring business success, and it is all about going into a company and looking at how they add value to their customers through Tech. I founded Women in Tech Africa to encourage more women into the technology career, and we are doing amazingly well as we have chapters across Africa and Europe.
What inspired you to start your company?
The company is really a culmination of my passions. I love technology, I am about technology, but I also call myself a creative – not creative in an artsy way, but creative in the way that I like to bring things into being that didn’t previously exist.
Why should anyone use your service or product?
I got tired of just building tech for tech’s sake – instead, I wanted to build tech that would clearly create something new for an organization or would make things more efficient or something that would create more revenue, and that is what as a company we are really focused on doing. I love to work with companies from the inception of a particular idea, being there at the initial strategy sessions for a new initiative or whilst they are making plans for the year ahead because then we can add more value. That is our unique differentiator in the marketplace.
Tell us a little about your team
I work with a team of young ladies who have the passion to support the business vision, playing the role of an Administrator and Personal Assistant, a projects officer who manages events and communications with Women in Tech Africa Networks. I have offshore consultants who I bring on board to assist with projects as and when I need a helping hand. My team are preferably women because I stand to support the reduction in the Gender Divide.
Share a little about your entrepreneurial journey. And do you come from an entrepreneurial background?
I am from a family of entrepreneurs, so I don’t think it has ever been a question of if I was going to be an entrepreneur, but rather when I was going to be an entrepreneur. My father has been an entrepreneur for over 30 years and we are that kind of entrepreneurial family. In the early days, I had a variety of corporate jobs and lived in the UK for a couple of years. Around 2010, I decided to come back home and ended up once again taking corporate jobs, but this time in a highly targeted way in order to learn the essential skills that I needed to begin my life as an entrepreneur. The first time around when I became an entrepreneur, I didn’t ask for critical advice at key times and instead thought I could go it alone – and in hindsight, that didn’t work out too well. So, I took a couple of years out to go and learn the key skills of sales, negotiation, strategy, making the right networking connections and then restarted my entrepreneurial journey, but this time equipped with the necessary skills to make it a success.
What are your future plans and aspirations for your company?
Actually, there are so many women in tech groups now across Africa, with women teaching girls how to code, or on the other side of the spectrum working with women who are in the industry, and everything in between. I think Women in Tech Ghana as an organization has now matured enough and I can take a step back from it because everyone involved knows what they are doing, the group is working well. For me, Women in Tech Africa is about bringing together all these groups of women in the industry under a loose umbrella whereby we can look at issues not simply from a country level, but instead from a continent-wide perspective.
What gives you the most satisfaction being an entrepreneur?
I think what is exciting is that there are more women entrepreneurs like myself emerging in the tech sector in Africa, but there is also a greater diversity of women entering the sector. There are also a lot of groups, such as non-profits, that are putting huge energy into the sector to support women, and as long as those energies are targeted, then I think that in a generation or so we will have more women who are better at what they do and who can grow multi-national companies, and that I am looking forward to.
What’s the biggest piece of advice you can give to other women looking to start-up?
One of my biggest lessons learned during this period, and which I still apply today, is to leverage my advantages, for example, making the most of my background within a family of entrepreneurs who have been in business for years and have a wealth of knowledge and experience to learn from. Also, to maximize the connections that I have personally to help me to get the right meetings with the right people.
Stop second-guessing and just jump. Remember the mistakes you make are all part of learning, so instead of overthinking things just do it, and on your way down you will figure it out. Be open to learn new things and adapt to your journey. You can achieve anything you set your mind to.
To find out more about EDEL Technology Consulting or Women in Tech Africa, contact founder Ethel Cofie via email: email@example.com or visit the website and social media platforms: