Our History

In 2003 we co-founded Global Mamas (originally under the name Women in Progress) as a non-profit organization with the mission to transform the lives of women entrepreneurs in Ghana by helping them to grow their businesses. We were providing one-on-one consulting on business and financial management when six women said, “Listen, if you don’t help us find new markets for our textile products we aren’t going to need help with business management because there will be no business left to manage.” The six women, all of whom were operating their own small businesses, united with the name Global Mamas to produce and export textile products under a common brand. Read more about Our Founders.

 

Our History - Drying Lines in the First WIP Office

Our first office in Cape Coast – multipurpose with drying
lines for batik products during the rainy season.

  We started producing a handful of batik apparel and accessory products in Cape Coast and today we have hundreds of products produced in seven locations around Ghana. We still produce batik textile products, but have also replicated our model with women working in the recycled glass bead and shea butter industries. We started by shipping products in a few suitcases per year and now send 4 to 6 pallets each month of products to our North American office for distribution. We started by selling products at a few home parties per year and now sell products to nearly 400 stores across the world. From the very beginning we operated under the principles of fair trade, however we didn’t know there was a name for what we were doing until one of our volunteers suggested we join the Fair Trade Federation in 2005.

 

Staying true to our roots, we have remained committed to enhancing the skills of our Mamas by providing hands-on training designed to enhance their talents and manage their expanding businesses and personal income. Providing ongoing, personalized training requires tremendous human resources and expertise. We accomplish this by hosting international volunteers and interns who give their expertise, mentorship and encouragement. It is incredible to imagine that since 2003, nearly 400 volunteers representing 24 countries have spent more than 100,000 hours in Ghana sharing their time and skills to forever improve the lives of women in Africa.  

Our History - One Billion Cedis

Our first major milestone in 2006 – total sales of 1 BILLION
Ghana Cedis (the equivalent at the time of about $100,000.

 

 

Our History - Hands On Training

Charity in our Ashaiman office guides Alice on a new
technique to trace patterns more efficiently.

Most of our Mamas come to us trained in a craft (batiking, sewing, bead-making, shea butter production). We enhance their skills by providing hands-on training in advanced techniques, quality improvement, and creative design. Many of our women are business owners and we help them to expand their businesses by training them in leadership, financial management, marketing and merchandising. As our Mamas start realizing the peace of mind of financial security we provide support to help them manage their growing incomes. At the request of our Mamas we added workshops on topics to improve their health.

 

 

 

People often ask us the secret to our success. There are so many individuals, ideas, and baby steps that have come together to make it possible. It has not been easy and there have been set backs to be sure. But from the beginning we made a commitment to making the organization sustainable over the long term and have made every decision with that in mind. We believe that quality is critical and invest a tremendous amount of energy and resources in ensuring we exceed our customer’s expectations in this area. We share a love and passion for each other and we love the work that we do. We are committed to our values of Collaboration, Innovation and Sustainability. Read about Our Values.  

Our History - Our Staff in Cape Coast

Our dedicated and energetic staff in the Global Mamas
Cape Coast office.

 

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