Gladys – Ghana
Gladys lives in the village of Sankubenase, Ghana. She is a refugee from Nigeria. When she was young she never finished her basic education because her father needed her to help around the house instead of going to school. When her husband died, Gladys found herself completely alone to care for her family. Additionally, she had a sister who also died, leaving Gladys to care for her niece, as well as her own children.
Working on credit from Ghanaian banks, Gladys opened her shop to sell homemade bread. She had been operating it for years without making hardly any profit, because of the exorbitantly high interest rates, leaving her and her family with little to no income. When she found out about Mentors International, she couldn’t wait to start attending business education classes and apply for a loan.
Mentors International taught her to manage and save her money. After receiving her first loan, the equivalent of around $100 US dollars, and with the training and mentoring from the Mentors’ loan officers, Gladys began to sell drinks with her famous bread. Villagers began expressing an interest in chilled drinks, so she used savings and a second loan for a refrigerator and more flour for bread.
Today Gladys’ bread now supplies six villages. She makes over 1,200 loaves of bread every couple of days and always sells out. Currently, she, along with the villagers she employs, bakes the bread in an old mud oven. Her dream is to save enough money to buy a more modern oven and open a larger shop. She is also determined to someday mill her own flour to avoid having to go to town to buy it – and she wants to be able to employ more villagers.
She has expressed several times how thankful she is for the business education classes Mentors International provides and how much they’ve taught her. She felt destitute and hopeless before, but now, she has so much hope for the future. Gladys is humbled and grateful for Mentors International and the opportunity they’ve given her to be a successful business woman.