The two entrepreneurs, Zubah Smallwood and George Shagbeh told the Daily Observer in an interview Tuesday in Monrovia, “We’re satisfied because it provides our needs and keeps us at ease without embarrassment from anyone.”
“While government is there to provide employment opportunities for its citizens, government cannot bring everyone on board to work. In the absence of government job, one can still use his strength and knowledge to do something to help himself rather than hanging in the street to steal or engage in other criminal activities,” George Shagbeh said.
Zubah Smallwood said it took him more than fifteen years in the furniture industry and it has bought him three vehicles.
Zubah said he is not a carpenter but he buys the wood from pit-sawyers, carries it to the carpenter, who designs it the how he wants it.
“After buying the planks and take them for design, the finished product sells for US$200.00 or US$225.00, or $375.00, depending on the design and the type of wood used,” he said.
Living room set, cupboard, cabinet, and other household furniture are sold by these men just as others do in most parts of Monrovia.
With the growing rate of competition in almost every business in Liberia nowadays, Zubah said he is particularly copping with it by designing attractive objects to customers which draw them to his business.
George Shagbeh said he started his business in 1996 with LD$600.00 and persistently endeavored to reach where he is now.
Recounting the hurdles associated with the business, Mr. Shagbeh said during the rainy season he finds it difficult to get the planks needed to make the furniture, and as a result the price increases.
However, Mr. Shagbeh said regardless of the price of each item and the competitive environment, he is able to get his profit and capital.
Furniture is one good but very difficult to sell in the market; nevertheless, it is an imperishable product that despite the long time it takes to make a sale, entrepreneurs still hope to get their capital and profit.
Meanwhile, unemployment has remained a major challenge to the national government in post-war Liberia.
To reduce it, government has begun encouraging youths to make use of vocational institutions to develop their skills and create job opportunities for themselves or work with other institutions