Project Bead operates as a social enterprise that uses 100% of profits to fund education for students in Ghana. These profits are generated through retailing and wholesaling beaded products made by Ghanaian entrepreneurs.
In order to achieve these goals, Project Bead retails and wholesales hand-made, beaded products from southeast Ghana – the region where education is currently being funded. As the organization is entirely run by volunteers, 100% of the profits support the secondary and tertiary education of students in need. To date, Project Bead has raised over $250,000 and regularly sends funds to Ghana to pay school fees for the original 15 students who inspired this journey. The Bead Team buys the beads, plans and designs the jewelry and commissions local artisans to create the final products - all in the same region of Ghana where they are funding education. In addition to the commercial responsibilities of Project Bead, the Bead Team runs all administrative work for the Foundation. We plan to see our fifteen students through college and then utilize all continued funding to provide new students with high school scholarships.
Join us in creating a shift towards conscious consumerism: moving away from materialism and focusing on purchasing with a purpose. Buy your beads today, wear them every day, and show that you are committed to improving the lives of those in need.
- To educate children who cannot afford to go to school
- To raise awareness of the power of education and its ability to shift poverty levels
- To purchase all beaded products from entrepreneurs, local to the areas we support.
Our History & Continued Growth
Project Bead began as the Mmofra Trom Bead Project in 2009 when Bentley University professor, Diane Kellogg, approached the future Bead Team to build a social enterprise. Since 2001, Diane worked with a group of her friends and family to raise funds to transform a small orphanage, once dependent on donations, into a private boarding school. Attracting tuition paying students gave the school the ability to generate sustainable income that could be used to support the original endeavor of providing for children without a home. This school has become one of the most prominent primary schools in Ghana.
There were 15 particular students who were raised at the school and it was unclear what these students would do after graduation from the primary school. Diane Kellogg and her sister Cindy had an idea to sell Ghanaian-made bracelets in the United States and use the profits to fund a high school education for these students.
Bead-making is one of biggest industries in the region and this idea also provided an opportunity to support local commerce. Diane, Cindy and the director of the school recognized the importance of teaching the students to work hard for their opportunities and taught the children how to string bracelets. The students strung all of the bracelets until 2013 when the demand became so great that they couldn’t keep up. This became an opportunity for Project Bead to commission local artisans to make the bracelets, which had been a long term goal of the Project. Today, the men and women who string the bracelets are excited for the income and the ability to support their families.
When the students who ran Project Bead began to graduate in 2011, it became evident that they still wanted to be involved in the enterprise that they helped grow. Diane recognized their commitment and has since handed over the Project to her former students. Today Project Bead is run by seven women, most of them Bentley graduates, the “Bead Team”, who are passionate about seeing continued growth for the enterprise and promoting universal education.
History of the Foundation
Diane was originally involved with the school through a friend from England, Carol Gray, who founded the Mmofra Trom Foundation. Others in Carol’s circle of friends, Laraine Wright and Jane Ream, ran the foundation in USA which supported Carol's project in Ghana.
Laraine, Jane and Diane recognized the opportunity to groom the next generation -- a new circle of friends to carry on the Foundation. As the Bead Team graduated, each was invited to be Board members of the Mmofra Trom Foundation. Once the team was fully entrusted with both the social enterprise and the foundation, the Bead Team merged the two entities and simplified the name to the Project Bead Foundation (d.b.a. Project Bead).
The Bead Team
We're seven women, leaders and entrepreneurs who envision a world with less poverty, more equal opportunity. Providing education funds to students who otherwise would not have the opportunity to go to school is our way of acting upon the similarities that unite us as human beings: we believe we all deserve the same rights and the same opportunities to learn, grow and become whatever we want to be. It's what ignites our inner fire and completes our uniform passion to make an impact on the world in which we live.
Buy your beads today. Wear them every day. Show that you are committed to universal education.