Theresa Oppong Beeko, founder and chief executive officer of Manet Incorporated has overcome the challenges of being in a notoriously tricky industry and the inevitable gender barriers of being a woman in a still male-dominated industry to blaze on entrepreneurial trail that has proved hard to follow. Through extensive local knowledge and understanding of Ghana’s market’s needs and staying sensitive to the demands of the Ghanaian population, this amazing woman has been at the forefront of real estate development and the hospitality industry in Ghana for well over a decade, after raising the bar with regards to the standards the industry has adhered to.
Today, she sits astride the huge Manet Group which comprises Manet Housing, a real estate development firm, Manet Beach Paradise, a three star Hotel Resort, Manet Construction Limited, a Civil Engineering Company and Manet Towers Ltd. which developed the Twin Tower office edifice at the Airport City in Accra. The Manet Group constantly seeks to develop new capabilities and competences and also has ambitious international expansion plans. Founder and CEO Dr Theresa Oppong Beeko, in asserting Manet Groups expansion ambition, says “I cannot fully predict the effects the Manet Group will have on the Ghanaian economy but I am certain, nonetheless, that we will extend the scope of our business well beyond the borders of Ghana.”. The focus of Manet Hotels Limited is exploring new capabilities in areas of hospitality and leisure and Manet Towers’ operations defines as its aim as accomplishing breakthrough capabilities in commercial office development.
All this is the result of Theresa Oppong Beeko’s inspired and daring entrepreneurship, professional skill, sheer vision and perhaps, most of all, perseverance. It is the latter she regards as the most important quality in navigating the often treacherous waters of entrepreneurship. An unflinching advocate of determination and perseverance as keys to success in business, she has being quoted as saying “Once you are determined that your business ideal will work, it will work, as long as you persevere prudently and diligently pursuing it”. That is a lesson she learnt very early in life and one that has proved invaluable since then.
Immediately after earning a Bachelor of Arts degree in political Science and Sociology from the University of Ghana, Legon in 1985, she went into her first business venture, fishing, and failed leaving her with debt equivalent to USD 2.5 million at the age of twenty-five. Unlettered, she went back to Legon, acquired a Masters in Business Administration (where she was declared Best Marketing Student in 1990) where she then began pursuing her real dream of constructing buildings.
She established Manet Housing Limited in 1994 and since then, through her award-winning company,has built over 1,800 homes, making Manet the second-largest real estate development company in Ghana Subseqent developments include; the Manet Cottage annex, the Manet Gardens (similar to Manet Cottage and also in Baatsona) and the Manet Ville in East Airport – which for the first time offered elegant and affordable semi-detached homes. From there, Manet continued growing its portfolio of projects.
Other iconic developments that have altered Accra’s skyline for the better include Manet Court in East Airport, Manet Palms in East Legon, Manet Paradise in Ada, and Manet Towers in Airport City. In 1998, Theresa Oppong Beeko established Manet Hotels Limited, which acquired a beach Resort at Ada, just outside of Accra and developed it into a three-star, 48 room hotel with an amazing array of recreational and leisure activities on offer including Aqua sport and marlin fishing. It is now fittingly known as Manet Paradise & Beach resort.
The much focused entrepreneur next embarked on a diversion of sorts with the establishment of Manet Construction Limited, primarily a civil engineering company that has specialized in the construction of urban roads and other related infrastructure such as drains, culverts, and high rise edifice around the nation’s capital, Accra.
But Theresa Oppong-Beeko’s most spectacular venture is her latest two high rise office blocks in the heart of Accra’s emergent Airport City, known as Manet Twin Towers. Each office block is nine storey high, each floor of each block having ample, well appointed office space for a discerning company with deep pockets to match its elegant tastes and quickly occupied by UT Bank, while the other was occupied by Vodafone in January 2010.
The diversified Manet Group of companies have the same theme running through their operations – providing accommodation of one sort or the other. Asked once, while receiving a golden star award in Nigeria why she did not bid for oil exploration and drilling blocks she famously replied: “I am into accommodation and I will be there to provide it.”
Theresa Oppong-Beeko deservedly has an impressive array of awards, conferred on her in recognition of her sterling track record as an exemplary entrepreneur. Some of her awards include:
Ghana Society for The Blind’s Golden Jubilee Celebrations (1951-2001) awarded her the Highest Individual Donor, Ministry of Education, Youth & Sports in July 2004, An Honorary Member of CAN 2008 Ghana Bid Committee, Property Personality of the Year 2007, 2008 Woman of the Year Award by the American Biographical Institute (ABI), Member of the West African Nobles Forum (Group of Eminent West Africans 2008), Recipient of the 8Th National Tourism Awards 2008 (Ghana Tourist Board), West Africa Hall of Fame Security Excellence Award (2007-08). Also in 2009 Winner of GPA business innovator award; Property Personality of the Year 2010 (Ghana Property Express); TNG Corporate Merit Awards 2010: Ghana’s Indigenous Woman Entrepreneur of the Year 2010; In 2013: Awarded the most outstanding woman of the year by WOMAN 21 GAME CHANGERS; Also in 2013: CEO HOLDING awarded Dr. Theresa Oppong-Beeko as Africa’s most influential woman in business and government (OVERAL WINNER FOR AFRICA IN THE INDUSTRIES CATEGORY). During the 50th Anniversary Celebration of Prempeh College (Amanfoo) she received an award with this citation: In appreciation of your ingenuity and sustained role in the development of Real Estate and for helping to reduce the acute housing shortage in the country.
In 2002, the University of Ghana Legon, conferred on her Honorary Doctorate Degree for her contribution in her field. In 2007, she received the Gold Star Award for Exemplary Leadership in provision of shelter for low income earners in West-Africa.
In 2010 recipient of the Gold Medal for Ghana from the (ABI – USA) for her courage, passion, Success, Excellence, Virtue, Spirit and commitment to providing affordable shelter to the people of Ghana. On 26th October, 2012, MANET was presented with the overall property award for 2012 dubbed ‘Property Walk of Fame’ at the 5th Ghana Property Awards held at the Banquet Hall of the State House in Accra.