Two alumnae of our Ghana program have won top awards for their successful businesses. Ayisha Fuseini of Asheba Enterprise, a shea butter processor which supplies The Body Shop, accepted two awards including Female Entrepreneur of the Year at the Invest in Africa Awards (IIA). Esther Naanbir, of Agape Moringa Processing, won Woman of the Year at the Vodafone Small and Medium Enterprises Ghana Awards (SMEGA). 

“I feel very proud about myself and my business. The recognition alone is enough motivation for me as it simply means institutions are confident about my business and this is testament to the long lasting impact of the Camfed - Mastercard Foundation [partnership].” - Ayisha Fuseini, CAMA member and social entrepreneur

Both women were participants in a youth enterprise initiative delivered by Camfed in partnership with the Mastercard Foundation, intended to support youth livelihoods in rural Africa and serve as a catalyst for rural women to become successful entrepreneurs and employers in their communities. In recent years Ghana has seen a fast-expanding youth population, combined with a lack of job opportunities. A World Bank report in 2016 revealed that 48% of Ghanaians aged between 15 and 24 do not have jobs, with young women being particularly disadvantaged.

Ayisha’s company, Asheba Enterprise, has become a household name for many rural women in her district and its surrounding communities. The company produces soap, body creams and other products using high quality shea butter. Ayisha works with more than 200 women, grouped into cooperatives and as individuals, to secure fair prices for their produce and ensure stable incomes, as well as training them in financial literacy and business skills.

Esther runs Agape Moringa Processing, which currently employs 15 full-time workers, and has six cosmetic products on the Ghanaian market made from moringa oil. She said, “For me, the intervention from Camfed in both my education and the development of my business is what has brought me this far.”

Ayisha Fuseini, who accepted two business awards at the Invest in Africa Awards, is transforming her community.

Esther receiving her Woman of the Year Award

Esther Naanbir holding her Woman of the Year Award, at the Vodafone Small and Medium Enterprises Ghana Awards ceremony.

The recognition for these two young women as flourishing business-owners and role models is testament that with training and support, female entrepreneurs can offer sustainable and profitable opportunities for themselves, their families and their communities.

At the same time they are shifting gender norms and stereotypes in rural areas, unlocking the tremendous potential in women from marginalized backgrounds to contribute to the growth of local and national economies.

This month Camfed and the Mastercard Foundation are launching a new Entrepreneurship Program, supporting 145 young women with internships, business starter kits and a network of mentors, to encourage the next wave of female entrepreneurs in rural Ghana.

Read the ONE campaign blog by CAMA leader Fiona Mavhinga: "How female entrepreneurs #PressforProgress in Ghana"