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Two young leaders in the CAMFED alumnae association, CAMA, travelled to Dakar, Senegal last week to participate in the second edition of the EVE Africa Program. Ayisha Fuseini and Grace Arthur, both successful entrepreneurs from Ghana, attended the three day event between 27 and 29 November 2018. At the summit, which brings together inspiring individuals, Ayisha was invited to give a talk on her experiences as a female change-maker.

“When you educate a girl, everything changes. When you continue to invest in the woman, everything changes even more.” - Ayisha Fuseini, CAMA leader and entrepreneur

Ayisha gave a powerful account of her transition from a marginalized background to owning her own thriving social enterprise.

After secondary school, Ayisha received business training, a small grant and business incubation support - including regular mentoring - through CAMFED's collaboration with the Mastercard Foundation.

She established a shea butter processing business in partnership with older women who, like her mother, had been engaged in low income, laborious shea nut processing for many years.

Ayisha worked together with women's cooperatives to introducing new skills training and processing machinery, to assure quality standards and to reach larger and better-paying markets, enabling improved incomes for the 300 women with whom she works.

Ayisha (left) and Grace at the EVE Africa Program in Dakar

Ayisha (left) and Grace together at the EVE Africa Program in Dakar

Like Ayisha, Grace combines business acumen with a commitment to supporting members of her community. Her growing enterprise processes and markets affordable cooking oil. She employs rural women and enables them to achieve a fair price for their product, as well as to have the confidence that they will be able to feed their families.  As her business grows, Graces aims to further contribute to solving the issues of hunger and youth unemployment that she sees in her region.

Attending the EVE Africa Program gave Ayisha and Grace the opportunity to share their experiences of building effective social enterprises. They are passionate advocates of girls’ education and women’s empowerment to help transform individuals, families and communities. With their 120,000 sisters in CAMA they are demonstrating that when equipped with education and training, young women with lived experience of poverty and marginalization, can become powerful agents of change.

Read about Ayisha on the EVE Program website