Esther Afua Ocloo Biography
(Co-Founder of Women's World Banking)
Birthday: April 18, 1919 (Aries)
Born In: South Dayi District, Ghana
Esther Afua Ocloo was a Ghanaian entrepreneur who co-founded the Women's World Banking in 1976, with Michaela Walsh and Ela Bhatt. A pioneer in the practice of micro-lending in her country, she was dedicated to the cause of economic empowerment of poor women and their families. Born into a poverty stricken family, she realized the significance of being economically independent early on in life. Blessed with an entrepreneurial spirit and great ambitions, she started her own business venture when she was just a teenager. Though initially she struggled and also had to face ridicule from others of her clan, she persevered through all the hardships to become one of Ghana’s best-known entrepreneurs. Her success earned her assistance from Achimota College which enabled her to study agriculture and food technology in the U.K. Upon on her return to Ghana, she focused on helping other women in running their own small businesses with the management skills she had acquired in the U.K. Her entrepreneurial efforts, combined with her determination to help other women become economically independent, gained her national and international attention and she was invited to the first United Nations World Conference on Women in 1975. Shortly after, she co-founded the Women’s World Banking. She was honored with several awards, including the African Prize for Leadership, for her relentless work promoting economic empowerment of women.