Esther Afua Ocloo (born Nkulenu) was born in the Gold Coast in Ghana, on April 18th in 1919.
After graduating high school, she was given less than a dollar by her aunt, and bought sugar, oranges, and twelve jars to make and sell marmalade. She made a profit, and won contracts at her high school to supply it with jam and juice.
After securing a contract with the military, she was able to take out a loan, and start a business.
Ocloo moved to England for a couple of years to pursue a degree in cooking and food preservation. She returned to Ghana and formed a manufacturers' association. The goal was twofold: promoting locally produced goods, and helping Ghana become self-sufficient. She was also a strong advocate of women's economic empowerment.
In 1976, Ocloo co-founded the Women's World Banking (WWB), specialized in making micro-credits available to mostly women to start their own businesses.