Business

This London-based entrepreneur’s luxury watch business supports and clothes orphaned children in South Africa

GIVING BACK: William Adoasi

MEET WILLIAM Adoasi, the London-based entrepreneur whose luxury watch business helps clothe and support orphans in South Africa.

William, 26, started his first business at 19 and has gone on to build a portfolio of four companies, including Vitae London, a luxury watch brand.

Vitae London gives 10 per cent of the money it makes monthly to House of Wells, a charity supporting children in South Africa.

Therefore, each purchase directly transforms the lives of children who have either been orphaned or live in poverty by providing two sets of school uniform, a bag and footwear to see them through the year.

William, who quit his job as a recruitment consultant to fulfil his entrepreneurial dreams, hopes to one day build an empire similar to Richard Branson’s and impact the world through social entrepreneurship.

In fact, after launching, Vitae London received a £20,000 loan from Richard’s company Virgin StartUp, the not-for-profit arm of Virgin, dedicated to helping aspiring entrepreneurs.

William was then chosen out of 1,000 loan recipients to be an ambassador for entrepreneurship in the UK and was invited to Richard’s house to take part in a mini workshop about branding.

The son of Ghanaian parents who moved to the UK two years before he was born, 26-year-old William’s father was the first in his family to learn how to read and write.

“Education equips people to make the change they want to see. I saw the impact it had on my dad’s life,” he told CNN.

So when William went on a business trip to South Africa and saw the work House of Wells were doing to support orphaned children or those on low incomes in education, he knew he had to do something.

“I left inspired,” he told Dream Nation. “So we did our best to send money every month and support them. But I was thinking of a more sustainable way  I could support them long-term.”

He started designing T-shirts that, with every purchase, would support a child for a month, but found he “wasn’t really inspired enough by the idea myself”.

“I’ve always loved watches, so I did a bit of research into watches, the different styles, designs et cetera, designed some watches and sent it out to factories out there. Around May or June last year that’s when I finally found a sample I was happy with, and I just ran with the vision from there,” he said.

On his decision to quit his job and go it alone, he told the publication: “It’s always been my drive to run my own thing. I just feel like there’s no limit it as well, with 9 to 5 you’re limited to a salary.

“Within business, ten years I’ve got the potential to be a multi-millionaire.”

Just 11 months in, Vitae London has sold 412 watches with a turnover of £52,180, and purchased 780 items of school uniform for children in South Africa.

The watches are sold online and at Boxpark in London, and at Le Tresor in Johannesburg, ranging in price from £145 ($177) to £165 ($201).

His advice to an aspiring entrepreneur?

“I’d definitely say humble yourself and take advice from others. Just open up your mind to receive advice from others.

“Read up on people who have made it from nothing, watch as many documentaries on these people.”

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