October 24, 2022, by aczjb1

Meet the Ingenuity Lab member empowering African artisans

Peter Paul Akanko is a young creative entrepreneur from Ghana, who studied MSc Entrepreneurship, Innovation and Management at HGI in 2021. With experience of running his own social enterprise back home, Peter came to the university on the Chevening Scholarship programme, looking to expand his knowledge in the field of entrepreneurship.

“The EIM programme was amazing and as a business owner, I gained a lot of practical insights in creativity, innovation and business management, which will be key to growing my business and launching other future businesses,” he said.

After completing his MSc, he has been busy developing his business, Kente Master, at the Ingenuity Lab over the past year. Peter is officially launching Kente Master in the UK this month, with a launch event at the Ingenuity Lab on Friday 28 October, from 4-6pm.

“The Ingenuity Lab through its various entrepreneurship programs has helped me gain a lot of practical insights of running a business in the UK and also helped me to build very useful business networks,” he said.

Peter was inspired to start the business after seeing how many local Kente weavers struggled to get their products to wider markets. Kente Master works with weaving communities in Ghana to produce a variety of fashion items and accessories using the traditional hand-woven fabric, creating wider markets for the weavers and helping to economically empower them and give them a better livelihood.

Peter (left), with fellow MSc graduates, wearing personalised Kente Master stoles

At his graduation this summer – delayed due to the pandemic – he was able to celebrate his Masters degree while showcasing his business’ hand-weaved Kente stoles with his fellow classmates.

“Graduation was an amazing experience, to encounter a lot of students and staff and to also have some loved ones around to celebrate with me. It was such a wonderful feeling seeing my colleagues wearing Kente Master scarves for their graduation, and I walked across the stage waving the flag of my home country. It will be a moment I cherish for life.”

The launch event at the Ingenuity Lab will highlight the history of Kente weaving in Ghana and showcase the range of products available, whilst telling the story of Kente Master and the impact they are creating in the lives of Kente weavers.

“As we celebrate black history month, the official launch of Kente Master in the UK presents an opportunity to celebrate black history and excellence, as well as empower African artisans, especially the Kente weavers,” said Peter. “We are hoping to fully integrate in the UK and to collaborate with other designers and artisans here – especially in Nottingham – to extend our social impact and sustainability.”

Find out more about Kente Master at kentemaster.com

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