To celebrate what would have been Ghanaian entrepreneur Esther Afua Ocloo's 98th birthday today, Google's homepage features a new doodle that illustrates Ocloo "empowering the women of Ghana with the tools to improve their lives and communities," said Google.
As a young woman, Ocloo developed a strong desire to increase her livelihood through entrepreneurship; therefore, with a little less than a dollar to her name, she started making and selling her own marmalade in the 1930's. Ocloo was committed to growing her business, so much so that she didn't allow the lack of economic resources to deter her from securing a loan to do so.
After finally acquiring a loan, Ocloo expanded her business and went on to travel to the England to learn more about food processing. Upon her return from England, Ocloo shared her newfound skills and knowledge about running a business with other Ghanaian women. Her influence was so huge that she was invited to the first U.N. World Conference on Women in 1975.
Ocloo's impact on the community didn't stop there. The business woman recognized the significance of credit and wanted to provide low-income women, who were oftentimes ignored by banks, the opportunity to have access to a better financial future. Therefore, in 1979, Ocloo founded Women’s World Banking, which according to Google, "provides millions of low-income women with the small loans needed to reach their financial goals.
Today, Esther Afua Ocloo is remembered as an entreprenuer, a pioneer of microlending, and an incredibly determined woman who made a little go a long way.