Esther Afua Ocloo from Ghana

Mental Floss Excerpt

Google Doodle celebrates what would have been the 98th birthday of Esther Afua Ocloo.

…[W]ho was this groundbreaking businesswoman who was known to so many as “Auntie Ocloo”?

[Here are] five fast facts about her life and legacy.

1. SHE STARTED HER FIRST BUSINESS WITH LESS THAN A DOLLAR. Ocloo recalled in an interview years later. “With six shillings I bought the ingredients to make marmalade, …
2. SHE WAS ENCOURAGED BY HER FORMER TEACHERS. …
… I was ridiculed by all my classmates, who saw me hawking marmalade on the street like an uneducated street vendor. …. “They were so impressed with how successful my business was, they began reserving a percentage of my profits to save money for me to go to England for further training.” ….
3. SHE WAS THE FIRST BLACK TO RECEIVE A COOKING DIPLOMA FROM the GOOD HOUSEKEEPING INSTITUTE.

…. She also took classes in food science, technology, preservation, nutrition, and agriculture at Bristol University.
4. SHE DEDICATED HER LIFE TO HELPING OTHER WOMEN SUCCEED.
…. ”You know what we found? We found that a woman selling rice and stew on the side of the street is making more money than most women in office jobs—but they are not taken …. Ocloo helped to found eight nonprofit organizations, including the Sustainable End of Hunger Foundation and Women’s World Banking, a micro-lending organization that gives small loans to female business owners who are unable to secure traditional bank loans. The organization operates in more than two dozen countries.

5. SHE BECAME THE FIRST WOMAN TO RECEIVE THE AFRICA PRIZE FOR LEADERSHIP.
>… True to form, Ocloo reinvested much of her prize money in the women she fought so hard to empower….,

… when Ocloo’s children once complained to her about how all that training was only helping her competitors, Ocloo responded …, “I don’t listen. My main goal is to help my fellow women. If they make better marmalade than me, I deserve the competition.… .

After gaining success, Ocloo passed her business knowledge on to other Ghanaians, founding the Women’s World Banking organization in 1979 to help low-income women create businesses.


Wikipedia Excerpt
Afua Nkulenu was born in the Volta Region to George Nkulenu, a blacksmith, and his wife Georgina, a potter and farmer. Sent by her grandmother to a Presbyterian primary school, she proceeded to a coeducational boarding school at Peki Blengo. Because of poverty, she traveled weekly from home to the school, taking food supplies which she cooked for herself to avoid expenses. When she won a scholarship to Achimota School, her aunt provided her with money to travel to the school. She studied there from 1936 to 1941, when she obtained the Cambridge School Certificate.:
Nkulenu was the first person to start a formal food processing business in the Gold Coast; she built up a business supplying marmalade and orange juice to Achimota School and the RWAFF. Institute in London and to take the post-graduate Food Preservation Course at… Bristol University