Helping Entrepreneurs Find A Way Through Pain And Failure‒ Interview With Steven N. Adjei
Steven N. Adjei is a British-Ghanaian author, poet, healthcare consultant, entrepreneur, and pharmacist. He is the founding partner of BlueCloud Health (part of the Emerald Group), an advisory and consulting firm with offices in London, Dubai, and Delhi with clients all over the world. His first book, Pay The Price: Creating Ethical Entrepreneurial Success Through Passion, Pain and Purpose was an instant bestseller the very day it was launched on 30 August 2022.
Introduce yourself! Please tell us about you and your life, so we can get to know you better.
Hello! I’m Steven, and it's great to meet you! I am a British male with Ghanaian heritage, and I am married to my beautiful wife Dela. Together we have two amazing teenagers, Nana, and Nshira. I live in a beautiful city called Plymouth in the Southwest of England. I love reading, running, and hanging out with friends, and I am passionate about all things Africa, entrepreneurship, reading, and the underdog!
I hold an MBA from one of England’s most prestigious business schools, Warwick Business School, and am also a member of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain, and a member of the Pharmaceutical Society of Ghana, West Africa.
I am an avid lover of dogs, and even though we currently have no pets, one of my foremost goals is to have the time to add a lovely German Shepherd to our family one day!
What is your business name and how do you help your clients?
I wear many hats.
My business name? It’s Steven N Adjei, and I am a best-selling author, award-winning pharmacist, entrepreneur, healthcare consultant, and diversity expert.
Through my writing and speaking, I help entrepreneurs through finding a way through pain and failure and help them leave a legacy and build a business they can be proud of. I have written articles for many magazines, including The Pharmaceutical Executive and Brainz Magazine. I have also been a guest on many top-rated podcasts, including The EvolvePreneur podcast, the Unconventional Path, and Evolve to Succeed. I also speak at conferences on topics relating to small business, entrepreneurship, diversity, and legacy, the most recent one being the Africa Impact Investment Forum in London and the consulting firm EY here in the UK. I am also about to start our pioneering entrepreneurship course, The Flag Pain Response Course, which specialises in helping entrepreneurs about to give up or have hit a stumbling block through pain, the principles of which I spell out in my brand-new book, Pay the Price. There is more on my website, www.stevenadjei.com
I am particularly proud to be writing this article during Black History Month here in the UK, as I feel that the voices of mainstream black writers are sorely lacking and underrepresented in business writing and speaking, and I am hoping that through this article, many British budding black entrepreneurs would be inspired to start writing best-selling quality business books, articles, and blogs.
Through our businesses, BlueCloud Health (www.bluecloudhealth.com) and The Emerald Group, (www.emerald-mg.com), I specialise in finding solutions for our clients within the healthcare space, primarily clients who want to enter Sub-Saharan Africa. We also incubate several African start-ups and assist in market entry for quality medicines and healthcare products and equipment into the continent. As an example, we are currently raising $25 million for a start-up who have invented a scalable revolutionary device that treats TB and other diseases through simple Xray scanning, and we are working with a UK medicines manufacturer to introduce quality inexpensive medicines for chronic diseases.
Through my professional career as a pharmacist, I have worked with independent pharmacies and England’s National Health Service to deliver COVID and flu vaccinations and pharmaceutical services to the Southwest of England.
What kind of audience do you target your business towards?
I am mainly passionate about two things:
Helping entrepreneurs press through the pain and help them flourish through my writing, speaking, and consulting, and
Bringing African SME businesses into the mainstream business world and helping them grow and expand to help solve Africa’s many problems, particularly in the healthcare sector.
And everything within my businesses, writing and speaking, is geared towards these two ideals. Even though I specialise in healthcare, I work with all sorts of entrepreneurs, from Real Estate to Retail.
What are your current goals for your business?
For my writing and speaking, I am writing and aiming to publish my second book, In Search of Permanence, by September 2023, organise a major Entrepreneurship Summit for African Entrepreneurs in 2024, and sell 100,000 copies of both books by December 2025. I am also planning and laying foundations to be a regular speaker for conferences regarding Africa, Small and Medium Businesses (SMEs) worldwide, and Entrepreneurship.
For our businesses, we are currently partnering with the charity Compassion to educate African children. We would love to expand this, so we are involved with 50-100 children by the end of next year. We would also like to grow the business to do multiple 7 figures by the end of 2025.
We are also raising a $ 50 million fund for African healthcare start-ups, the Afya Fund, which we plan to be operational by December 2023. This will enable us to invest directly in African healthcare start-ups which will be a game changer for the Emerald Group.
For my consulting and coaching business, we are planning to launch our specialist course regarding pain and failure in business in Spring 2023 ‒ please see for https://www.stevenadjei.com/services for a taster.
Who inspires you to be the best that you can be?
That’s an easy question. It’s my dad. I wrote about him in my previous article for this magazine:
He is such a gentle, hardworking man who instilled in us the values of humility, hard work, and treating others better than we are treated. Even though he is currently 84 years old, he still works as a consultant lawyer, and entrepreneur and still serves as a chief in our local village in rural Ghana, West Africa.
What is your work inspired by?
My work is inspired by my Christian faith, the Pathfinder legacy of my dad, as well as my African heritage. They remind me to treat people fairly, to show love, humility, respect, and compassion to everyone regardless of gender, sexual orientation, background, age, or race, and to be an excellent steward of all the resources I have been blessed with. Tell us about your greatest career achievement so far.
That’s a tough question, but I suppose if I am pushed, I’d have to say my greatest achievement in my career so far is writing and publishing my new book, Pay the Price: Creating Ethical Entrepreneurship Through Passion, Pain, and Purpose. It was an instant bestseller the day it was launched, reaching No 1 in EIGHTEEN different categories on Amazon, including number 1 in Poetry, #1 in Music appreciation, #1in Philosophy, and #1in Ethics and Morality, a record for a debut author writing about Business and Entrepreneurship!
If you could change one thing about your industry, what would it be and why?
I am passionate about ethical entrepreneurship, and I strongly believe that given the right support, it has the power to address most of the problems facing our world today, particularly in developing countries. I would like governments to do more to support small businesses and entrepreneurs and for PE firms and institutional investors to do more to support start-ups and SMEs, particularly in Africa. Tell us about a pivotal moment in your life that brought you to where you are today.
This is a great question and has a very unusual answer!! On 21 August 2021, I had a massive epileptic fit when I was doing some housework at the top of the stairs in our home in Plymouth, England. I passed out, fell a flight of stairs with a 15kg vacuum cleaner in my hand, crashed into the radiator downstairs, and badly wounded my back, arms, and pride – I have the scars to show it! But when I came to, all I could see was me writing a book, and I could even see the title of the book when I came round. That tragic moment inspired me to become a best-selling #1 author, which in turn has given me countless opportunities, even including writing this article!!