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Humble Beginnings: Volume 1 of Kofi Amoabeng’s “UT Story” receives rave reviews

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“The UT Story: Humble Beginnings” written with the help of George Bentum Essiaw, highlights how Prince Kofi Amoabeng came up with the idea to repair the poor lending culture of Ghana’s banking industry and give hope to SME’s, and the many obstacles he faced along the way.

Volume 1 of the book has already received amazing reviews:

The “UT STORY: Humble beginnings” has all the trappings of a Hollywood thriller. Written in impeccable English, the book chronicles the bold exploits of the author as he dives into the unchartered territory of difficulties SMEs face in procuring financing. This was based on first-hand knowledge having suffered that himself.

He brings to the fore and practicalises knowledge acquired during his earlier years of education and training; BSc Administration Accounting Option, Military training rising to a Captain, Chartered Accountant with an ACCA.

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Describing himself as “naturally stubborn,” though does not say he is a non-conformist, the author is bold, audacious and not risk-averse by any stretch of imagination. Indeed, he operates better when his adrenalin flow is high. His encounter with the Governor of Bank of Ghana is simply breath-taking and interesting as he throws down the gauntlet!

That Standard Chartered Bank should invite him in a consultancy role is fascinating.

He however accepts and learns from his mistakes and involves everybody in the team-building effort. A lady apprehending a defaulter at Makola and having him “arrested” is classic.

Though principled, hard and ruthless when the situation demanded, he is not heartless. Chapter 16 shows his humaneness as emotions show in his confessing he wished he had known earlier the shenanigans of Capo’s dislike serving under anyone he was senior to in the Military. This adversely ended his relationship with friend and “old-faithful” Johnny at UT.

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By: Brig Gen Dan Frimpong(Former Ceo, African Peace Support Trainers Association, Nairobi, Kenya)

For a very long time, I have only skimmed through most books that I read because I have often made fore sense of what I read, predicted what was ahead and drew conclusions. The UT story is very different as I read every sentence of the book because I could not afford to miss what each sentence contained – the surprising, unorthodox strategies; the intuitive skills; the bravado; the persistent obstacles; the broken trusts; the never-ending disappointments from friends, and the fetishism to the desire to succeed have been mindboggling. This is a rude capture into the “kitchen” where entrepreneurship success or failure in Ghana is brewed.  

This book brings out very powerful insider struggles and perspectives of what it takes to grow a business and a brand in Ghana. Clearly, it shows the grit and fortitude required to succeed in business in Ghana and I think every budding entrepreneur, student of business administration, professor of business management, policy maker and regulator as well as motivational speaker MUST read this book. As Dean of the UGBS, I am going to recommend this as a core text for all programmes taught by my faculty and have it stocked in both our undergraduate and graduate libraries.

I am struck by a recurrent “theme” in the book. The issue of “trust” and how the lack or abundance of it; how the various characters either demonstrated or failed to demonstrate it; and how it affected the business is insightful. In an ethics deficit society such as Ghana, the consistent demonstration of how trust played a major role in how the UT story unfolded deserves critical evaluation and discussion in every business management class.

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By: Professor Justice Bawole (Dean, University of Ghana Business School)

Candid And Forthright….Libraries and archives can boast of a collection of great memoirs. Only few however, once read, cannot be forgotten. The UT STORY: Vol. 1 HUMBLE BEGINNINGS, by Captain Prince Kofi Amoabeng (Rtd) rivals such collections.

In a style rarely seen among Ghanaians, the UT story is told in a forthright, candid, and “tell-it-as-it-is” manner. The lessons to be gleaned from the book will be profoundly useful not only to entrepreneurs and businesses but for individual personal development as well.

Just like UT, this book should become a household word for all who seek to improve upon their trade and lives.

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By: Professor Abednego Feehi Okoe Amartey (Vice Chancellor, University Of Professional Studies, Accra, UPSA­­)

This book is an inspiring entrepreneurial account which promises to be an asset to young entrepreneurs.

The book presents a bold narration of life experiences of an entrepreneur to serve as a reservoir of lessons to shape the entrepreneurial journey of many especially the youth.

The book has the potential to teach the valuable lessons of keeping records, discovering the assets in everyone including locals, foreigners and peripheral outcasts in society to achieve goals.

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The experience in 2003 about the faulty report to collapse Unique Trust Financial Services Limited without discussing the said report with the shareholders and directors was unfortunate. This may confirm the suspicion about the possible misuse of regulatory authority to bring to an end, painfully, the entrepreneurial journey of many people.

Even though the escape from collapse of the non-banking financial business was mainly due to access to near insider information and the weight of intervention by the Deputy Minister of Finance, deeper understanding and boldness during the meeting with the Governor of the Bank of Ghana was remarkable.

Every effort should be put in place to avoid and discourage the killing of businesses either in banking and financial sector, pharmaceutical or manufacturing by accident, envy and misuse of political power because it amounts to administering poisonous chemical on hardworking indigenous entrepreneurs.

I shall recommend this book to young entrepreneurs to benefit from the valuable lessons from the experience of the author.

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Review By: Professor John Gartchie Gatsi, Esq (Dean Of The Business School, University Of Cape Coast)

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