The Ghanaian entrepreneur and pioneer in micro lending, Esther Afua Ocloo , who was born 98 years ago Tuesday, was the first person to start a formal food-processing business in west Africa’s Gold Coast. To highlight Esther Afua Ocloo’s accomplishments, Google published a doodle Tuesday in her honor.
Ocloo made her livelihood selling marmalade and orange juice, but to expand production she needed a loan a challenge for women with few economic resources. Through persistence, she was able to secure a loan, allowing her to travel to England to learn the latest techniques in food processing.
After returning to Ghana, Ocloo taught local women those newfound skills, as well as everything she knew about starting and running a business, which she realized could improve the health and prosperity of the women and their communities alike.
Recognizing that banks often ignored low-income women because they lacked collateral, Ocloo in 1979 founded and became chairwoman of Women’s World Banking. The nonprofit organization provides financial and technical assistance to low-income women around the world so they can reach their entrepreneurial goals.
Ocloo was also the first black person to earn a cooking diploma from the Goodhousekeeping Institute in London.
In the same decade she returned to Africa and set up the first food processing business in Ghana.
Ms Ocloo died of pneumonia in 2002 aged 82.