As many of you know this weekend has been a time of great jubilation in Ghana, as Ghanaians throughout Ghana and across the globe celebrate the nations 50 years of independence from colonial rule. The Benin Epilogue would like to also like to join in on the celebration and in honor of Ghana's 50 year anniversary we would like to commemorate this moment by sharing with you the success story of one of Ghana's foremost business persons. This person is a daughter of Ghana and is none other the Elizabeth Joyce Villars.
Something that almost immediately sets Mrs. Villars apart from the pack is the length of time that she has been doing business. She has been building her brand, Camelot Ghana Limited for almost exactly half the time from Ghana's Independence until now! Her company is a check manufacturer that exports it's products to banks all over Africa and is a top performer on the Ghana Stock Exchange. She employs 50 people including her husband and son and has won numerous awards for her endearing business leadership in and out of the boardroom. Below is an excerpt from Business In Africa that provides a few more details about her meteoric rise from her Cape Coast, Ghana birthplace to where she sits now-amidst the ranks of Ghana's most celebrated entrepreneurs.
Business in Africa writes:
Happy Birthday Ghana! And Mrs. Villars may you continue to inspire many more to follow in your footsteps!
"...Elizabeth Joyce Villars is an accomplished businesswoman in Ghana. In a country where the private sector is male dominated, her ascent to the presidencies of the two most prestigious Business Associations is an outstanding achievement. She is former presidents of the Association of Ghana Industries and the Private Enterprise Foundation respectively. She does seem to have a penchant for soaring above all others. She was the first to set up a computer service bureau in 1974, the first Ghanaian to introduce continuous forms printing in 1980 and also the first to locally manufacture security cheques and payment instruments in 1996. Villars has also won several awards, including the Chartered Institute of Marketing‘s “Marketing Woman of the Year” in 1998. In 1999 she was honoured with the “Millennium Excellence Award” for her contribution to Ghana’s private sector.
In 2000 she won the “Most Successful Woman Entrepreneur Award”. Her story begins in the ancient city of Cape Coast in the central region of Ghana. She attended Holy Child Secondary School for her Ordinary Level examinations. At a time when most women would have been content with secondary school education, she wasn’t. She proceeded to the IBM Training School in the UK where she obtained a Computer Programming Diploma in 1969. In 1975 she qualified as a Systems Analyst and Designer at the IBM Training Centre in Accra, Ghana. “My early exposure to computers ensured that I became the first Ghanaian woman to qualify as a Computer Programmer in 1958,” she says with a hearty grin. She has worked with the Volta River Authority (VRA), Dizengoff West Africa and West African Data Services Bureau, variously as a Programmer and as Systems Consultant. She has been the Managing Director and Chairman of Camelot Ghana Limited until April 2004, when she relinquished the chair of the company.
Her company has won several awards for excellent exhibitions at trade fares in Ghana and elsewhere. Villars serves on several boards including the Ghana Investment Promotion Centre, Social Investment fund, the Ghana Trade Fair Authority and the Ghana Statistical Service..."
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