Follow Us


Angel Court, 81 St Clements Street
Oxford, OX4 1AW UK

T: +44 (0)1865 725304

© 2024 Opportunity InternationalOpportunity International United Kingdom is registered as a charity in England and Wales (1107713) and in Scotland (SCO39692).

A Thirst for Success

By Kelly Jennings-Robinson

Mariam lives in the Northern Region of Ghana. She is a solo entrepreneur and she has been able to grow a thriving refreshment business.  She is known for making a popular local drink called ‘somkom’ which is made with millet, ginger, pepper and sugar. She is the only vendor in her community selling it and has developed a very loyal customer base over the years. She brews and bottles the drinks in her home each day and people come from far and wide to purchase it. On an average day Mariam sells 40-50 bottles. She can double or triple her sales on holidays, festivals or special occasions, such as weddings or funerals.

 Mariam saves a third of her profits every week to invest in her business. She doesn’t have the time to travel to her local bank to deposit these savings so instead she is visited by a bank representative known as a susu collector each week. Mariam makes the deposit from her own home and the susu collector can immediately credit her account using a mobile phone.  This simple solution has provided Mariam with a safe and secure place to keep her money until she needs it.   


Mariam with her deposit book and mobile phone


Susu collector makes note of a deposit

A susu collector makes a record of Mariam's deposit. 



A batch of Mariam's somkom 

Mariam is just one of many women in Ghana who has been empowered to grow her own business through access to vital financial services.  This is only possible because of your support.  We simply could not do it without you. 


Share this article:

Join Us

Sign up to receive a monthly email with all the latest updates, news and inspiring stories from our work around the world.