Lessons from a Debonoire: Fred Deegbe of Heel the World

Fred Deegbe is the founder and CEO of the Ghanaian shoemaking social enterprise Heel the World (H.T.W.). He is a true debonoire who has managed to create a widely recognizable Africa-made brand that socially and economically impacts his community.  

Fred Deegbe and H.T.W leather shoes

At the end of 2011, Deegbe decided to leave banking and start a high-end shoemaking company to show the world that great things can come out of Africa. Today, H.T.W. is a thriving business, which inspires a new generation of African social entrepreneurs. This year Deegbe has been featured on CNN’s African Start-ups and he made the Ayiba 2014 Power Players List.

Heel the world empowerment beads

Here are some lessons that can be learnt from Fred Deegbe on his journey to success, as dictated in an interview with Ayiba Magazine:

“There is no great brand that was built by one person…Teamwork is crucial.”

In my experience, entrepreneurs need creative people around them, so network and don’t be afraid to  brainstorm with like-minds and build partnerships that will develop your brand.

“Have a healthy respect for people because everyone has something to offer. Even a broken clock is right twice a day.”

Working with others can be difficult, but everyone has something they can bring to the table. Some of the best ideas you will get for your business might not come from you. Open yourself to others and listen out for inspiration and advice.

“Be willing to grow and evolve… If you are not willing to go through the learning process then you are not willing to be successful.”

This is probably the most difficult piece of advice to follow through on. Success is a process stimulated by personal growth. The more you evolve as a person, the more you learn exactly what you need and want from your business and what you define as success. Embrace the process.

Leave a comment below telling us one business lesson you’ve learnt.


This entry was published on July 6, 2014 at 4:18 pm and is filed under ambition, fashion. Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

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