How Two Young Ghanaians Broke Into The $2.25 Trillion Global Creative Industry

The Christmas holidays is fast approaching but the team at one of Ghana’s leading digital creative agencies- Effects Studios is hard at work handling a lot of projects.

The team raced against time to complete all projects to catch the Christmas break by working overtime and throughout the weekend.

This has been the trend for the past two years since two 25-year-olds, Stanley Anani and Michael Mettle-Nunoo embarked on their entrepreneurial trajectory.

The duo who are friends have had entrepreneurial ambitions etched in them since Senior High School (SHS) days and it was just a matter of time for them to become full blown businessmen.

Apart from studying, they spent part of their time doing petty sales on campus- selling printed t-shirts, mp3 players, pcjs and CDs.

Luckily for them, the hussle paid off. Today, they are Cofounders of Effects Studios, a leading digital creative agency handling top brands both locally and internationally.

Their services include; branding, creative designing, digital marketing, website development, mobile application development among others.

Within the last two years of existence, the company has ballooned rapidly working for top brands such as Driver and Vehicle Licensing Authority( DVLA), Accra City Hotel, Total Ghana, Guaranty Trust Bank (GTBank Ghana), National Banking College among others.

The startup was also involved in the branding of the 40th anniversary celebration of Ghana’s second Prime Minister, Dr Kofi Abrefa Busia.

An early start!

The two have been friends since SHS days and their friendship blossomed further through university although they attended different schools- Anani enrolled in the University of Ghana offering computer science while Mettle-Nunoo attended Regent University College of Science and Technology studying software engineering.

The petty business continued there too so while Anane secured small graphic designing contracts, Mettle-Nunoo was building websites and mobile apps.

“As time raced past, we started asking each other for help so if a client wanted a website, I called on him and if his client needed a graphic designer, printed T-shirts or flyers, he called on me,” Stanley Anani said in an interview with Business World Ghana.

With a good working relationship and an appreciable client growth, the two decided to merge their fledgling businesses during third year in the university.

Stanley Anane Left, Michael Mettle- Nunoo Right

Taking it officially off the ground in 2016

Recognising the potential of  the business, they were torn between fulfilling their one-year National Mandatory Service (a requirement of all tertiary school graduates in Ghana after University) and diversifying their business.

“We were deciding what we wanted to do with our lives after school. It was a decision between doing national service or investing all that time in our ideas, so we quickly registered the company and started doing some work. Most of the work at the time were free to enable us build relationships and get people to see our work,” Anani said.

“We did National Service in our own company,” he added.

As with most entrepreneurial stories, they borrowed money from friends and family to finance the startup but made very little since most of the work was executed for free.

Subsequently, they hired one designer, rented a small space and work continued.

The startup signed its first partnership deal with two other passionate young men within the first year and relocated to an opulent office space, got in new hires and expanded the business but the partnership would only last for a year.

With no professional experience in the field, they readily admitted to committing business blunders and have learnt from it.

Friendship-business relationship

Businesses built on friendships are often inundated with slews of challenges as some lose both their friendship and business altogether. On the contrary, friendship has been the very foundation on which the business was built.

“While friendship and business has been a disadvantage to many, it is an advantage to us because we have been friends for a very long time and for friendship to thrive in business, we need to have respect for each other,” says Michael Mettle-Nunoo, Co-founder of Effects Studios.

As a Cofounder, Nunoo’s work involves overseeing the technology and digital marketing teams -websites, mobile applications, social media and online campaigns.

“We share similar interests and one goal. These are the things that binds us together…we take each other’s work very seriously as much as we do as friends,” he said of their friendship- business relationship.

With a total of 22 employees, a perfect freelancing model and some awards up their sleeves, the startup is poised to step up the ante with the launch of advanced software applications including a financial app and an online news platform.

“We are gravitating more towards the description of the company which is a digital creative agency because we are realising that creativity, communication branding and marketing is being heavily influenced by technology.”

“With a healthy combination of creative people, we see that we are well positioned for the future because that’s where the world is heading towards,” Mettle-Nunoo added.

Read more on the $2.25 Trillion Global Creative Industry here

By Pamela Ofori- Boateng/ Business World Ghana, Copyright 2018 ©