Nazifatu Mohammed Abdulai is a passionate entrepreneur from Ghana. She is the founder and Chief Chef of Casa Tomato Restaurant and café, a contemporary restaurant located in the heart of the city of Accra that also caters for large gatherings such as corporate events, parties, funerals, weddings etc. It also opened a local shed called ‘’KA WULA’’ that sells typical street food, which is relatively cheaper than the main offering.
Nazifatu discovered her passion for cooking when she was just a child and she immediately understood that she wanted it to become her job. Thanks to her perseverance, she pursued her dream throughout her whole life, until one day she decided to open her own restaurant.
Having never studied anything about business, Nazifatu needed to learn the right skills to develop her business.
“I decided to enroll in the Global MBA in Impact Entrepreneurship after I saw a flyer of the course being shared on Facebook. I realized that that was exactly what I needed for my business, because I wanted to learn more tools in the business model and how to use the model to either scale up or scale down.” she stated “Thanks to the Global MBA in Impact Entrepreneurship I’ve been able to boost my business. E4Impact’s continuous presence and support, even after the end of the MBA, helped me expand my network and introduce my business to a wider public.”
Nazifa’s history is the story of how a passion becomes a job, of how a dream becomes reality. But let’s learn more about her.
1. How was your Business Idea born?
it was born out of my passion for cooking and my willingness to turn that passion into an actual business. Cooking has always been something that I found myself doing effortlessly.
2. How can your business improve the life of the beneficiaries of your activities?
My business serves healthy and affordable meals that most people can afford. My work is environmentally friendly, as all of my packaging is biodegradable. I employ mostly students for internship and part time programs, as a way of helping eradicate poverty. I also donate food to the streets occasionally, as a form of eradicating hunger. These help in achieving the SDG Goal 1 and 2.
3. What has been the main challenge you had to overcome in your entrepreneurial experience?
The greatest challenge I’ve had to face as an entrepreneur is human resource management. Managing people and having to deal with recalcitrant employees, who don’t give any value to the organization that they work with, it’s not easy. Especially if it’s an informal sector like the restaurant.
4. Is there a person you are inspired by, i.e. an entrepreneur or a particular mentor?
I look up to myself as a great inspiration, because my journey as an entrepreneur began in my own kitchen. But today, I’m building a solid brand that can match international competition.
5. What would you suggest to a new-born entrepreneur?
An entrepreneur should be resilient, have empathy and passion for what he/she do, should build his or her personal brand along that of the company, because you cannot detach yourself from your business brand. He or she should be a game changer and, above all, result oriented.
A new born entrepreneur should know that your dream as an entrepreneur is solely yours and never for a second think that someone else will lose their sleep over your business. Hence, you should not expect much from your employees. Keep pushing and know that not every door, that is shut in your face, is actually closed. Some simply need a little push to open. Furthermore, he or she should not be embarrassed to start small.
6. Could you tell us a particular satisfactory moment you had in your entrepreneurial activity?
The most satisfactory moment in my journey is whenever other bigger brands or companies call me for sponsorship deals especially during events. The moment of satisfaction is felt more when the logo of my restaurant is shown on bigger screens at events. I also feel very satisfied and fulfilled when I’m contacted to grant an interview, because of the brand I have built. I then tell myself that “CASA TOMATO IS HERE TO STAY”.
7. Could you tell us how the MBA has helped you and your business?
E4Impact has had a great impact on my business because I have been able to grow and maintain my numbers in terms of clientele or customers. More so, I’ve been able to add more business lines (merchandise) to the already existing stuff that I sell and also learnt to do things appropriately. My social media presence has been boosted and the number has increased immensely. I’ve also built a wider business network across the globe.
Learn more on Casa Tomato
Facebook page: @Casatomato
Instagram Account: @casa_tomato