I am Gamel Adam Tabi, the CEO and founder of Gamel Clodin. Our brand is all about celebrating Ghanaian and African culture through high-quality apparel. We cater to Ghanaians and those who have an appreciation for African fashion.
Before the era of COVID-19, our business was flourishing, especially with the significant impact of the "Year of Return." We were producing about 100 pieces of clothing each week, and our outlook was promising. However, when COVID-19 struck, our world took a sudden turn. Our shops were forced to close, and our valued customers had nowhere to go.
In the face of this unprecedented challenge, we were compelled to halt our production. This situation was disheartening, especially considering the livelihoods of our dedicated workforce, the individuals who depend on us. The impact on our team was deeply distressing.
During the darkest days of the COVID-19 pandemic, while browsing on Facebook, I stumbled upon a glimmer of hope. It was the COVID-19 Response Grant offered by the Ghana Enterprises Agency, with support from the World Bank. They were extending grants to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to help them weather the storm.
I decided to apply, and after several anxious months, I received the text I had been waiting for—the grant was approved. We were granted 30,000 Ghana cedis, equivalent to approximately $4,600. This financial lifeline, backed by the World Bank, was a game-changer for us.
With the grant in hand, we began to rebuild and grow. We expanded our workforce from 12 individuals to an impressive 21, encompassing those at our retail center and skilled tailors in our production unit. We invested in much-needed machinery, including the battenhole machine, and improved the wages of our dedicated staff. This support was a lifeline that we grasped firmly.
I want to express my heartfelt gratitude to His Excellency, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, for this timely intervention, and to the Ghana Enterprises Agency and the World Bank for their unwavering commitment to supporting small businesses like ours.
Today, Gamel Clodin stands as a testament to resilience and the remarkable impact that support can have on the resurgence of small enterprises. As we continue our journey of celebrating African culture through fashion, we extend our sincerest thanks to all those who made this possible.