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How Esther Ocloo used six shillings to start multinational food processing industry

Nkulenu Esther Afua Ocloo (Nee Nkulenu)

Tue, 8 Feb 2022 Source: www.ghanaweb.com

Madam Esther Afua Ocloo (Nee Nkulenu) was the founder of food processing company, Nkulenu Industries established in 1942.

According to the company's website, Mrs. Esther Ocloo’s aim was to create employment for herself because after leaving Achimota College, there was no job opening due to the aftermath of the Second World War.

In 1943 Nkulenu, invested a sum of six out of ten shillings pocket money given to her by an aunt; the Late Miss. Josephine Nkulenu (Mrs. Mensah) and skills acquired at Achimota, to begin the sales of marmalade in Accra.

Using oranges, sugar, firewood and used jam jars, she produced twelve jars of marmalade.

In pricing the marmalade, she decided on a 100 percent markup, and sold a jar at one shilling. She had no difficulty in selling her marmalade thereof due to the shortage created by the war.

This encouraged her to add orange squash under the brand name “NKULENU” which has survived to date.

The successes of the venture enabled her to save money and proceeded to the United Kingdom where she was admitted to Bristol University, to study food preservation and processing techniques.

This newly acquired knowledge enabled her to introduce new products and improve on the quality of the marmalade and the fruit juices.

Nkulenu Industries currently produce Palm Drink, Spiced Palm Soup Base, Ga Kenkey, Fanti kenkey and orange marmalade.

Currently, Nkulenu has a processing facility in Madina, a suburb of Accra, which was constructed in 1961.

She was married to Stephen Ocloo and they had four children together: daughter Vincentia Canacoo, and three sons, Vincent Malm, Christian Biassey and Steven Ocloo Jr.

She also travelled to England in 1956 to develop recipes for commercial canning.

She was also part of one of the founders of Women's World Banking in 1976.

She died on February 8, 2002.

Source: www.ghanaweb.com
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