Google Doodle Honors Entrepreneur Esther Afua Ocloo, a Pioneer of Microlending

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Google rolled out a new Doodle Tuesday in honor of Ghanaian entrepreneur Esther Afua Ocloo, who was instrumental in helping millions of low-income women secure loans.

The Doodle depicts Ocloo “empowering the women of Ghana with the tools to improve their lives and communities,” said Google. April 18 would have been her 98th birthday.

According to Google, “Auntie Ocloo” had just six shillings — less than one dollar — when she began making and selling marmalade as a young woman in the 1930s. After eventually securing a loan, she grew her business and traveled to the U.K. to learn more about food processing. On her return, she shared with other Ghanaian women the technical knowledge and skills of how to start and run a business. Due to her success she was invited to the first U.N. World Conference on Women in 1975.

Throughout her life, Ocloo helped improve women’s lives in Ghana and advocated for their success in business. She saw the importance of credit in helping women achieve better health and prosperity, but poor black women were often ignored by the banks. So she helped establish Women’s World Banking, a global nonprofit that provided low-income women with microloans to help start their own businesses.

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