A self-described foodie, photographer and avid cyclist, Khamel Abdulai is the Entrepreneurial Services Director for the Albany Center for Economic Success. With an MBA and hands-on experience, Khamel helps entrepreneurs develop their business and marketing plans. He also partners with other agencies and entities to provide learning and training opportunities for entrepreneurs.
Khamel is originally from Ghana. He moved to the US about 13 years ago. As an undergrad, he majored in Geology; however, as Khamel describes it, his “marriage with geology was on the rocks.” He was increasingly drawn to business and commerce which led him to explore the relationship between people, ideas and the ensuing exchange – his passion. What Khamel loves most about his job is working with a diverse set of clients whose interests, backgrounds and goals are richly varied.
The hardest part? “Being confronted daily with the harsh realities that a large size of the population faces – social and economic distress. Playing the role of realist and watching people’s crestfallen faces as they weigh the enormity of an entrepreneurial jaunt and all the planning, sacrifice and sweat involved.”
The program at ACES is specifically designed for economically distressed populations, minority- and woman-owned enterprises. In addition to one-on-one counseling and group classes, ACES provides incubator space.
What is the biggest pitfall for new business owners?
“Not being adequately equipped – being undercapitalized and under-informed.”
“Plan, scan, then plan again. When you can answer all the important questions to yourself and others, take the plunge!”