What if your favourite world- class dress shoes could be made right here in Ghana? The quest to find answers to this question lead to the birth of HTW Shoes. HTW Shoes is a Ghanaian company that offers specially crafted hand made shoes with world class specifications. They also have handmade items like the HTW Black and Gold Empowerment beads, the Lovechild wristbands, belts and wallets. Heel The World(HTW) is a social enterprise and footwear brand that works to empower Ghanaian startup companies.
It was started by Fred Deegbe, Vijay Manu and Jeffrey Manu. In 2009, Fred went over to his friend, Alex’s, place to play video games. His friend ridiculed Fred’s old dress shoes so badly that he went out to buy a new pair in town. While Fred was marveling his new wing-tip shoes in the boutique, a passing shoe shine boy caught his eye.When Fred caught up with the shoe shine boy and asked if the shoe could be done locally, the boy vehemently replied, ‘Impossible’. For months on end Fred was disappointed in the boy’s response and was further saddened that there was a widespread belief that a world-class shoe/brand could come out of Ghana.
In February 2011 while working in a bank and with no shoemaking experience, Fred partnered with a young ICT undergraduate Vijay Manu and started a shoe company called Heel The World (HTW) with the support of some close business associates. In 2012, Jeffrey Manu joined HTW, Fred resigned from the bank, Vijay graduated from university and the young trio have been heeling the world ever since.
Many are attracted to Ghana's"Gold Coast" by the promise of wealth found in our natural resources, Oil & Gas, Mining and Cocoa. For generations however, our finest resource has been and remains to be, our human resource. Ghanaian students excel in universities across the globe and the ingenuity and creativity of our artisans and musicians is truly admirable.
AccraPremium had the privilege of meeting the young men behind Heel The World and suffice it to say, we were completely impressed by their professionalism, their creativity, their work ethic and the sense of positive purpose behind their business practices.
While Heel The World is primarily a men's shoe manufacturing company, there is an element of socially responsible entrepreneurship at the heart of their business model. An integral tool of communicating their message of entrepreneurial upliftment is their signature souvenir, the Empowerment Beads.
These young men, in collaboration with other organizations offer small business management and skills development training for aspiring entrepreneurs. You can follow their blog here. Through their leadership and initiative, these gentlemen and their young team demonstrate that Ghana's true golden years are yet to come.
Feeling Empowered - Melissa
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