a Business & Woman’s Empowerment in Ghana | IE3 Global
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Business & Woman’s Empowerment in Ghana | Cape Coast, Ghana

More photos from this internship can be found here.

IE3 Global’s partner, Global Mamas, works to achieve the economic independence of women and to alleviate poverty at a grassroots level in Ghana by providing support for the sustainable growth of small women-owned businesses. Global Mamas believes that the most effective way for women to realize social and economic justice is to achieve economic independence through self-employment. Interns will support the organization’s work with business development (marketing, accounting, business plan development, market research), grant proposal writing, web site design, or craft, clothing and jewelry design and production.

Global Mamas’ philosophy is that the best way to improve the standard of living for those living in poverty is by assisting in the development and expansion of women-owned businesses in order to generate new jobs and increase income levels of women. Empowering women through income generation enhances both their self-esteem and their ability to participate in decisions that affect them within the home and community. Playing the central role in ensuring the social and economic well-being of their families, women who are presented economic opportunities ensure the basic survival of their family through increased access to food, housing, security, healthcare, education, and justice.

Global Mamas’ programs support the development of micro and small woman-owned enterprises through workforce training, new technology, and in-depth projects that focus on improving internal efficiencies, competing more effectively in existing markets, gaining access to new markets, and engaging in international trade.

Learn more about Global Mamas:

Intern project’s will be personalized to fit specific skills and interests while furthering Global Mamas’ mission. Interns work alongside and with the support from Global Mamas staff and other interns/volunteers. This allows for developing meaningful and personalized projects and the ability to respond swiftly if a project needs refining once after arrival.

Interns work in the following areas, based on their skills and interests.

  • Financial Management: Accounting, Financial Planning, Finance & Micro Finance
  • Marketing and Media: marketing & Communications, photography, Videography/Film, Merchandising, Graphic Design, Writing/PR, Web design
  • Information Technology: Web Development, Database Development
  • Product Design: Jewelry Design, Textile Design, New Product Development, Ethical Fashion
  • Business Development: Strategic Business Counseling, Environmental Sustainability, Grant Writing & Fundraising, Entrepreneurship 7 Micro-Enterprise Development, Supply Chain Management
  • Women’s Empowerment: Women’s International Development, Fair Trade, Health, Education

Academic Background

  • Interns with a background and experience within one or more of these areas are preferred: Business, Women and Gender Studies, African Studies, Finance, Accounting, IT, Art, Graphic Design, Public Health, International Studies, International Development, Non-Profit Management.


  • Interns are expected to demonstrate responsibility, professional motivation, flexibility, and effective communication skills. Interns should have relevant coursework or professional experience (paid, intern, or volunteer) in the chosen industry when possible.
  • Applicants should be passionate about women’s empowerment and sustainable economic development. Interns must be self-motivated, prepared to take initiative, flexible, creative and cross-culturally sensitive. Knowledge of social issues and micro-enterprise development strategies in Africa is helpful.
  • Interns must demonstrate one or more of the following skills: Computer Applications (Word, Excel, database design, e-mail, etc.), Internet research skills, Business Planning and Management, Marketing, Web Page Development, International Business and Trade, Community Organizing, Teaching, and Project Management.

Language Requirements

  • For all internships, English is the language of communication. Interns must be capable of communication at a near-native level in professional settings.

Visa Requirements

  • A visa is required for entry to Ghana for all US citizens. The Ghanaian government manages visa requirements and may make changes at any time without prior notice. Proof of yellow fever vaccination may also be required as part of the entry process. IE3 Global and our host site will provide support as needed to accepted applicants. More information: Ghana’s Permits and Visas page.

Estimated One-Time Expenses

  • IE3 Global Program Fee: $3,450
  • Host Site Fees (see details below):
    • 10 weeks: $1,600
    • 11 weeks: $1,642
    • 12 weeks: $1,736
  • International Travel: $1,700
  • Visa Fees: $100
  • Recommended Immunizations: $400**

** Fees vary based on medical history and insurance coverage.

Estimated Monthly Expenses

  • Housing: Included in the Host Site Fee
  • Food: $250
  • Local Transportation: $75
  • Utilities, Phone, Internet: $25

Additional Expense Information

The host site fee from Global Mamas includes:

  • Administrative Costs
  • Pre-departure support & orientation in Ghana
  • Lodging in Ghana
  • In-country Internship support including 24/7 emergency support
  • Project-related expenses
  • Transportation from/to the airport
  • Supplemental international travel insurance (US citizens only)
  • Funding for the expansion of Global Mamas programs


Interns should be prepared to live simply and appreciate that living more like local Ghanaians is part of cross-cultural immersion.

Cape Coast (Most Interns, Global Mamas Main Office): In Cape Coast, volunteers are primarily hosted at homestays with trusted members of the Global Mamas community. A homestay guide with more details is provided. In the event that the homestays are full, local guesthouses are used. Interns typically have a roommate and share all the communal living spaces: bathroom, kitchen, living area. Amenities: The house has electricity, cold running water and an inside toilet. There is wifi available for a fee, no air conditioning and no hot water. Mosquito nets are available and interns can heat water for warm “bucket baths.” The host is available to assist.

The Global Mamas Cape Coast office has wifi, and mobile hotspots can be purchased for wider personal use.

Krobo/Akuse/Fair Trade Zone (Most Interns visit here for a week or so) Krobo is about 1.5 hours Northeast of Accra. Intern housing is in the same building as the local staff members. Amenities: The house has electricity, cold running water and an inside toilet/bathing room. There is no wifi, no air conditioning and no hot water. Mosquito nets are available and interns can heat water for warm “bucket baths.”

For wifi access staff use mobile hotspots, and interns can purchase the same for wider personal use.The program fee does not include meals. Interns are responsible for purchasing and preparing their own food.

“I cannot say enough about how beneficial my international internship with Global Mamas has been for my personal and professional development. Professionally, I was exposed to working with developing world challenges. It seems that every task takes five times longer than I thought it would take to accomplish. In orientation “Africa time” was discussed but I had no idea how real that actually was until I was on the ground. The slow pace of work instilled a deeper level of patience in me. Breathing, patience, and acceptance were key lessons that I learned from this summer in Ghana.

One of the initial goals that I set for myself was to grow in understanding of my abilities and myself. Navigating Ghana often times by myself has allowed me to grow in confidence of myself. Ghana pushed my comfort level on a daily basis, constantly challenging me and for that I have a better understanding of what I am capable of. Professionally I wanted to learn how to effectively communicate with colleagues. I think that I learned a lot about how to act in a professional setting....”

-Sammy Schreiner, University of Montana


“I think the biggest benefit of my internship was just to put myself in a situation that was outside of my comfort zone. I was able to feel so much more independent. By the end of my internship I felt as if Cape Coast and Elmina had become my home. I was able to navigate around the town to meet with each of the women. I was able to feel very comfortable in the places I was spending most of my time.

Before leaving for Ghana I had heard that it had the nicest people but I thought this was just a generalization. After my stay though I learned that this was in fact true. Ghana does have the nicest people. The country is so different from our own but that does not mean it isn’t just as amazing. I was living on the coast and it was the most beautiful thing ever. Ghana was much more developed then I thought. The way of life there is so much different. Each day I was able to take a shared taxi. It is such an efficient way of life and makes public transportation much more affordable.

The advice I would give any other volunteers is to be open-minded about everything. I would also say that you should try everything you possibly can. If you don’t you won’t get the full experience of Ghanaian life. I would also say you really need to immerse yourself in Ghanaian life.”

-Lauren Sheridan, University of Oregon


Fall | Winter | Spring | Summer

Application Deadline

Summer: January 25
Fall: April 15
Winter: September 1
Spring: November 15

Basic Requirements

- Open to all majors; relevant experience in chosen industry preferred (coursework, volunteer work, and professional work experience)
- Sense of professionalism and strong work ethic