“When we were starting out, if you were a woman and you went to the bank for a loan, they wanted to know who you were married to and whether you had permission to be in business,” says Irene Akoto.
Irene, the founder and chief executive of CK56 Hair Sense, a beauty and hair spa with more than two dozen employees, adds: “But now all that has changed. You are considered an entrepreneur.”
Walking around during our recent visit to her beauty spa, she greets her clients with a broad smile as she moves around supervising her stylists.
Towards one corner of the room, three hairdressers hover over a customer as they twist and turn her hair braids.
In a partially enclosed area, another woman enjoys a manicure and pedicure while sipping orange juice. The pampering is part of the company’s mission statement – to be the most professionally run chain of salons in Ghana.
Aside her many businesses, she is now also into sales of cosmetics products.
“It makes it easier for clients and other outsiders to come and get premium products from us and now that we have ventured into cosmetics, I would not rule out opening other branch” she said to the publisher of Pleasures Magazine
Irene has worked with metro TV, a local television station from a humble beginning as production assistant through the system, as camerawoman , editor, producer, director, production manager, switcher , programmer and a content designer from 2000-2006 .
She progressed to work with Net2 TV as Deputy programmes and eventually the Director of programmes among other titles and workloads.
She led the team that set up United Television as a programmer. She also helped set up Pan African television and currently doing a consultancy work for Kantanka Television and Care TV.
Irene equipped herself with mentorship skills from her studies in the United States and as a result she made this profound statement that “I have mentored a number of people which are excelling in their field of work”.
Aside studying in the US, she also took some short courses in Ghana institute of Journalism and NAFTI. Akoto doubles as a human right advocate as well.
“My goal is to educate and build people up in diverse opportunities that exist in this world and how they can fit in” Since she has a passion for the ministry of God, she always advise people to experience God. Her advice to young ladies has been empowerment, positive thinking and masculine attitude in all endeavours of human life.
Not content with her spa business, Irene also co-owns a pub, Michael Red Ice Pub with Joshua Baidoe-Ansah a top Ghanaian businessman and Adehye Special Home, a special kids school for children with autism. She is also a managing partner at Soar Company Limited, a project management consulting company.
CK Hair and Beauty Spa is located between Kingsby Hotel and Kingsby roundabout, Achimota in Accra Ghana.
Tel: +233 233 066 600