In the heart of the capital city of Ghana lies a small business on the forefront of fashion—Yawa African Wear. More than a decade ago, entrepreneur and fashion designer Emma Yawa Sowah launched the business to compete with imports and other larger tailors, but it wasn't until she joined Hopeline that her business steadily grew."Hopeline has taught me a lot about running my business, but especially the bookkeeping portion was very helpful. I have received two loans from Hopeline and am waiting for my third." While participating in business training with other female entrepreneurs, Emma used the first loans to expand the business into two branches. With her next loan, she plans to put finishing touches on the third branch in another middle class neighborhood of Accra. Meeting the demands during the busiest seasons—Christmas and Easter, as well as weddings and festivals, has led to a demand for 6 permanent employees as well as 8 retailers who sell the final product on commission. Emma purchases imported as well as local cloth, supporting other small businesses in the region.
"I am not a seamstress. I am a designer," says Emma. "I come up with the ideas of how the clothes should look and have the tailors turn them into a reality."