Catherine Morton is a Ghanaian Entrepreneur, Managing Partner and Race Director of “Millennium Marathon”, the first internationally certified half marathon in the country. She is also the Founder and CEO of “Activly Sports”,an events company that focuses on the promotion of sports in Ghana. Enjoy our chat with her!
Can you briefly describe yourself and your business?
I am the CEO of Activly Sports Events Co. Ltd and a managing partner of Millennium Marathon. I have been the race director of the Millennium Marathon, Ghana’s first internationally certified half marathon for 3 years now. Actively sports is a sports events company that focuses on the promotion of sports in Ghana through events and advocacy for the sustainable development goal number 3 “Good health and Well-being”.
Our flagship event is the Ghana Kiddy Mile Races the biggest running event for kids in Ghana between the ages of 3- 15 years. Our focus with the Kiddy Mile race is to create a fun atmosphere for children that encourages healthy lifestyle habits and promotes self development. We also manage the Women’s 5k Run Gh, a women only race promoting running in women and creating awareness about social issues affecting women. We also offer sports management services to corporate clients. Our mission is to create and manage world class sporting events to promote sports healthy living, tourism and development.
What is it like being a female entrepreneur, and why did you chose to be one?
Being an entrepreneur is about a dedication to finding solutions that create impact. It’s also about finding solutions that are sustainable and creates economic benefits. I chose to be an entrepreneur simply because I want to create POSITIVE IMPACT! I like thinking out of the box and creating something out of nothing. I also want to create an environment where others and not just myself can thrive through my ideas.
What new innovation have you introduced to your business?
Activly Sports is the first and only company in Ghana to run a mini marathon for children. Research shows that inculcating ideas at a very young age leads to a lifetime of long-held beliefs and practice. We believe the Kiddy Mile race is an idea lead activity that we hope will help shape the future of sports and healthy lifestyles in Ghana through the next generation. This year we are introducing the RUN AND READ Programme which highlights physical education and Literacy in young children and is an extension of our vision for the Kiddy Mile Race.
What will you say is responsible for your success so far?
Well now, everyone calls me the sports lady, but I really didn’t see myself as a sports person 10 years ago. Success is the product of consistency, determination and passion. I believe these three things keep me going.
In your opinion, would you say that there are any unique challenges that female entrepreneurs face?
Entrepreneurs face challenges every day. Female entrepreneurs more so. The daily routine of balancing my work life and being a mother is challenging and not everyone is able to deal with it. But a lot of women do so brilliantly and I see no reason why I cannot do same.
What values and principles have helped you so far?
Humility, not being afraid to fail and and the ability to accept different views. There is a saying that it’s ok to be fairs because it might mean you are about to do something really brave. Everyday is a chance to do something great but sometimes our fears hold us back. The more we do, the less afraid we become.
Why did you decide to go into this particular line of business?
Sports came to me by chance, but I realized its power to transform life because it changed mine. I started engaging in sports as a weight loss tool but quickly realized its numerous benefits. Sports has the power to bring people together for a common good. I decided to make a living out of it.
What are some of the challenges you’ve faced, and what’s kept you going?
Sports as a business is a very challenging industry especially in developing countries where there is little or sometimes no infrastructure and proper structure to establish a vibrant industry. Many are dissuaded from pursuing sports and sports management as a carrier because they do not believe in its potential to create a sustainable livelihood. When we started our sports company and also the Millennium Marathon we had to create the market our selves because it was nonexistent. Running was not very popular when we started Millennium Marathon, but am happy to say that over the years many more have joined. In Ghana now the health and fitness industry is gradually emerging.
What’s your five-year plan for your business?
In five years we want to have extended our races to all regions in Ghana and build a sports and recreation facility and become a leading Sports and Recreation brand in West Africa
What do upcoming female entrepreneurs need to do to be successful in this path?
Obviously, you need to be passionate about what you want to do get as much information as you can in this field. Know the relevant governing bodies and join some association if you can. Networking is important especially if you are starting from scratch. Be abreast with current trends in the particular sporting discipline you want to work in and identify and approach coaches, trainers and other people who are relevant in sports. And ultimately work hard at it, there is really no substitute for hard work.
The LLA Lady Boss Series is a weekly interview series that highlights the achievements and entrepreneurial journeys of African female entrepreneurs. The idea is to showcase the Leading Ladies who are transforming Africa and the African narrative through enterprise and business.
It is an off-shoot of Leading Ladies Africa, a non-profit that promotes leadership, inclusion and diversity for women of African descent.
If you know any kick-ass women of African Descent doing phenomenal things in enterprise, email firstname.lastname@example.org, and she could possibly be featured.