Managing Partner - Innorvations Events (Innorvationseventswbm)
Co Executive Producer - 3Music Women’s Brunch/Winitiative
Founder - MyDearSistersKeepergh
My name is Whitney Boakye-Mensah, and I am the Managing Partner and Creative Director of INNORVATIONS EVENTS WBM. I founded this company after going through a challenging journey to motherhood. Despite my background in PR/Marketing, I faced multiple rejections when trying to get back into corporate work. I even resorted to selling bags of sachet water and ice cream. However, my passion for the entertainment industry led me to contribute my thoughts on Peace FM's Entertainment review. I eventually became a guest panelist and later a full-time panel member, a role I've held for the past eight years. My company, INNORVATIONS / EVENTS WBM, is the only company that provides protocol services for most mainstream concerts and events in Ghana. I have had the privilege of working with clients such as CharterHouse, MultiChoice Ghana, Imajiin Advertising, Kenpong Group of Companies, Empire Entertainment, and many more. I've worked on concerts such as Joe Thomas in Ghana, Chris Brown in Ghana, Bow Wow and Keri Hilson in Ghana, Ghana Stands in Worship, Legends and Legacy, Ghana Music Awards, Rapperholic, Gh meets Naija, Radio and Television Awards, Glitz Africa Fashion Show, to mention a few.
Aside from my work in the entertainment industry, I also offer counseling to couples going through periods of childlessness and provide youth/gender mentoring and empowerment. My hobbies include home decor, reading, long country drives, listening/singing to powerful worship songs, watching Chelsea/Kotoko play football, traveling, and indulging in my favorite food, snails with Jollof, and chocolate desserts!
In recent years, I started My Dear Sister's Keeper community, a platform of women from diverse backgrounds going through stigmatization of infertility, miscarriages, and stillbirths. After suffering from seven miscarriages and two stillbirths without support, I decided to create a community where women feel safe enough to vent, talk, cry, and openly discuss these issues without judgment. The community also has some of Ghana's best fertility doctors, counselors, and psychologists who attend to women with such needs, sometimes with funding from my resources or heavily discounted as beneficiaries of the community. I was awarded the Female Personality of the Year for 2018 by the Xedous Communications Group in partnership with British Council at the 40/40 Awards ceremony in Accra. I was also featured on the platform, Humans of New York. My best times are spent with my husband and three sons.
What were the biggest initial hurdles you faced and how did you overcome them?
One of the biggest initial hurdles I faced was getting back into mainstream corporate work after taking a break from my career to focus on motherhood. Despite my previous experience in PR/Marketing, I faced numerous rejections and even some unappealing offers. However, I persevered and eventually found a way to channel my passion for the entertainment industry into a career. Another hurdle was starting my own company, INNORVATIONS EVENTS . It was challenging to build a brand and establish credibility in a highly competitive industry, but I overcame this by working tirelessly to deliver quality services to my clients and building strong relationships within the industry. I also made sure to stay up-to-date with industry trends and technologies, which helped me stay ahead of the competition.
Perhaps one of the biggest hurdles I faced personally was going through miscarriages. This was an incredibly emotional and traumatic experience. However, I used this experience to start My Dear Sister's Keeper, a community platform for women going through similar experiences. This platform provides a safe space for women to vent, talk, cry, and openly discuss issues of such nature without any form of judgment. It also provides access to some of Ghana's best fertility doctors, counselors, and psychologists to help women with their needs. Overall, I overcame these hurdles through hard work, perseverance, and a strong support system. I never gave up on my dreams, even in the face of rejection or adversity, and I always remained committed to providing quality services and building strong relationships with my clients and community.
What advice do you have for young people locally and internationally who are just starting out in their careers or pursuing their passions?
20 years in the Ghanaian creative/entertainment industry has taught me many lessons. Here are 12 nuggets I would like to share with you:
Before starting any business, ask yourself if you are ready for the journey. Will you survive the days when you make zero earnings? Will your passion fizzle out or will you run at the first pause? There is no shame in working in the corporate world alongside your business until you are ready.
Find good mentors in your desired field and be willing to understudy them. Learn tenacity, patience, grit, and never stop learning.
Start small but smart. Do not be ashamed of small beginnings. Use family and trusted friends for feedback and pay them if possible. Listen to criticism but draw clear boundaries between business, family, and friends.
You will have days when you feel demotivated, but persevere. Pray for your loved ones to support you, and succeed at all your endeavors. It's okay to ask for help when you need it.
It's okay to return to a safe job if you need to. Don't be ashamed of trying and failing. But do not make running the easiest option when times are tough.
Not everyone was brought up like you or has your kind of heart. Build your network with like-minded individuals, but be discerning. Some people may try to take advantage of you or ruin the relationships you have worked hard to build.
It can get lonely on the journey to success, so find someone who isn't afraid to let you shine, someone who is your biggest cheerleader and sounding board, and someone who understands your ups and downs.
Know your worth. Offer discounted services, but do not offer services that get you in debt or unhappy. Your worth is the result of years of grit, learning, practice, and perfection of your work. People who understand your business will know your worth.
Your biggest competition is yourself. Be better at your work today than you were yesterday. Evolve, reinvent yourself, learn new things on the job, and create your niche. Perfect it and stop being a copy of everyone.
Share your knowledge and impact the next generation. Be the reason someone went home with a smile, with knowledge, with zest, and with the determination not to give up.
Success is not sexually transmitted. You may be able to sleep your way to the top, but your work will keep you there. Do not spend money you haven't earned or been gifted. Remember that even January, the longest month of the year, comes to an end.
Hard work is necessary, but smart work and the right connections are how your business grows. When successful people only talk about how hard they work, it can stigmatize those who are struggling. Smart work and the right connections are how opportunities keep flowing.
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