This has been a year of Google Doodles that send a social message, and today's is no exception. The latest design depicts Esther Afua Ocloo, a self-made Ghanian businesswoman who is considered a pioneer of microlending.
Ocloo, according to Google, would have turned 98 today. She was born on April 18, 1919 in Ghana, and died in 2002. "Auntie Ocloo," as people called her, had less than a dollar when she made and sold her first jar of marmalade as a teenager in the 1930s. She eventually secured a supply contract that helped her start her own food-and-beverage company, Nkulenu Industries.
Auntie Ocloo is being honored for dedicating her life to sharing her skills with low-income women, who often have trouble securing loans from banks because they're unable to provide collateral. She worked tirelessly to impart the food-processing techniques she learned in England to other Ghanaian women, and helped train them in starting their own businesses and securing microloans. She made so much of a difference that she was invited to the first U.N. World Conference on Women in 1975.
In 1979, Ocloo helped found Women’s World Banking, which provides low-income women with the critical small loans they need to get their businesses off the ground.
A few days after the inauguration in January, Google sent a powerful statement of resistance by honoring Fred Korematsu, a civil rights activist who fought against Japanese-American internment camps in the 1940s. In March, Google featured a drawing by a 15-year-old girl that sent a message of inclusivity by showing children of different races, genders, sexual orientations, religions, and abilities.
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