What we should know about you
Questions answered by Valerie Labi, CEO
1. Imagine yourself 5 years ago in comparison to the situation you are in today. Which achievements surprise you the most?
Our CEO, Valerie Labi (affectionately called “Val”), had just graduated from her Master’s program at Cambridge University with a focus in sustainability leadership which inspired her to create a future-ready businesses that had a core focus on creating shared value for society as well as putting the environment first rather than just being led by financial goals. What has probably surprised her the most is actually seeing this initial vision come to fruition, especially being able to build a startup through two pregnancies and a pandemic while still raising a one year old. Her ability to balance bikes and babies surprises and amazes all of us. Being able to find and build a local, competent team aligned with her vision of creating an innovation ecosystem for production in Africa.
2. What was a turning point in your career as an entrepreneur / for you as an organization?
The turning point was being able to go full time on the venture, Cargo Bikes, since initially Val was managing a full-time job as well as trying to grow the electric vehicle (EV) concept. Changes in the economic environment in Ghana and beyond have also catalysed the shift for EVs from a nice-to-have concept to a necessity.
3. What recommendation would you give to someone who thinks about starting a social enterprise?
Have a cornerstone – really understand what you value and make sure your business embodies this. Stay true to yourself.
Prototype rapidly – be agile and open to iteration. Don’t focus on “perfect”. Work towards getting to market fast and competently.
Commit to excellence – work to the best of your ability and ensure you are following best practices and processes. Set the standard and let the main differentiator of your business be QUALITY. It will ensure a sustainable business and customer satisfaction that will allow you to stand the test of time.
- Member of the Africa E-Mobility Alliance
- Member of the African Association of Automotive Manufacturers