Google Doodle Celebrates Women’s World Banking Co-Founder Esther Afua Ocloo

On what would have been her 98th birthday, Google Doodle is celebrating self-made business woman Esther Afua Ocloo.

Ocloo was born on April 18, 1919 in Ghana, where she made a living making marmalade and orange juice, according to Google. While she eventually landed a supply contract that provided her with enough money to start her own company, Nkulenu Industries, it’s Ocloo’s advocacy for fellow female entrepreneurs in under-developed counties that Google Doodle is highlighting on her birthday.

Google Doodle celebrates what would have been Esther Afua Ocloo's 98th birthday.
Google Doodle celebrates what would have been Esther Afua Ocloo’s 98th birthday.Google

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Ocloo is considered a pioneer of microlending, or giving low-income women small loans when they couldn’t get loans from banks. She also taught other Ghanian women what she knew, including the food processing techniques she picked up during a trip to England.

Deeply aware of the impact supporting women in this way could have on both their lives and their communities, Ocloo helped co-found Women’s World Banking in 1979—a non-profit organization that provides low-income women in 29 different countries with small loans to start or further their businesses. The organization is still working to empower women around the world through financial inclusion to this day.

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