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Constance Swaniker

2017 Fellow

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“People don’t think it’s possible to survive on art. But I’m an artist. I want people to be able to enjoy beautiful art in practical pieces. What drives me is knowing that I’ve showcased Ghanaian work and helped people appreciate art through pieces they can use. I look forward to the day when I can look back and see that I’ve created job opportunities and had a greater social impact.”

Constance Swaniker started her business just one year after graduating from art school. 16 years later, the company she founded is thriving. Accents & Art Limited is a leading provider of wrought iron and wood furnishings in Ghana. Her business merges art with practical design, and offers full time employment to a team of 37 artisans.

Sometimes the odds seem stacked against her. Constance says cultural barriers and infrastructural barriers make it difficult for a woman to run a manufacturing business. But she isn’t deterred. Constance is proving it’s possible to run a first class business in rugged terrain. She wants history to show that as the African economy was opening up, Ghana and its entrepreneurs succeeded.