Greater Recognition of Female Entrepreneurs Needed

Greater Recognition of Africa’s Invisible Female Entrepreneurs Needed

by Laura McPherson May 4, 2017

Last month the Google doodle honored Esther Afua Ocloo, one of Ghana’s most successful entrepreneurs and an early advocate for women’s microfinance, on what would have been her 98th birthday.
Never heard of her? You’re not the only one.
Africa, which boasts some of the richest human diversity on the planet both genetically and culturally, is filled with female entrepreneurs like “Aunti Ocloo.” Yet the dominant media image of Africans still remains one of desperate people mired in misery: disease, famine, civil war, crippling poverty. This continual negative narrative can have wide-reaching consequences.
That Africa boasts so many entrepreneurs is in fact unsurprising, as research has shown that lower per capita income correlates with higher rates of entrepreneurial activities. And though not every young entrepreneur will become an Ocloo, the Forbes’ list of 30 shows the amazing things some go on to achieve.
We just seldom hear – or remember – these stories of entrepreneurial success, and thus the image of Africa as a place of suffering goes unchallenged.

For the full article please go to Women's ENews

Laura McPherson is an assistant professor of linguistics at Dartmouth College, a specialist in West African indigenous languages and a Public Voices Fellow.