Dignifying A Woman of Steel: Esther Afua Ocloo, a pioneer for women's rights celebrated at 98th birthday by Google
A Google doodle has celebrated Ghanian microlending pioneer Esther Afua Ocloo on what would have been her 98th birthday on 18th April 2017.
Who was the celebrated entrepreneur?
After starting a business selling fruit juice and marmalade
as a teenager and realising the financial difficulties poor women faced,
Ms Ocloo helped found and operate a bank specifically designed to help
women on low incomes.
In 1975 as a succeeding businesswoman, Ms Ocloo was invited to the first UN World Conference on Women.
Later that decade, she founded and became the chairman of
the board of directors of Women’s World Banking, which expanded her
earlier goal of helping women obtain the small loans needed to launch
businesses. The not-for-profit organisation has since helped millions of
women start and run businesses, helping boost prosperity in countless
During a trip to the UK in the 1950s, Ms Ocloo began to
develop recipes for commercial food canning. She was also the first
black person to gain a cooking diploma from the Good Housekeeping
Institute in London.
In the same decade she returned to Africa and set up the first food processing business in Ghana.