Josanna Lewin

Josanna Lewin (Vital Voices - Business Women’s Network hub, the Eagle Women Empowerment Club (EWEC)). Born and raised in Hawaii, Josanna studied in Costa Rica for 6 months with the American Field Service (AFS) in 1998. She received her BA in Political Science from the University of Colorado at Boulder in 2004. Upon graduation, Josanna spent a year working as an English teacher at the Universidad Central de Ecuador in Quito, Ecuador, and in Italy. Josanna spent three years working in San Francisco in the business development field. She is fluent in Spanish and has worked as a Sexual Health Educator with the Marin Aids Project (MAP) for at risk Latino youth. At the time of her fellowship, Josanna was pursing her Master’s in Public Administration AT the Monterey Institute of International Studies (MIIS). After her fellowship, Josanna wrote: “It has been a summer of learning, sharing and laughing with some incredible women. They are beautiful women and it is these women, these mothers, these sisters, these leaders, who are the future of Africa. This was a truly incredible summer and I’ve had such a positive experience. I’ve fallen in love with Ghana!"

Meet Sheila – An Eagle Woman

07 Jul

When Sheila Bartel-Sam, CEO and founder of Platinum Technologies, walked into Ghana Oil two years ago, she was not prepared for what she would be asked to do.  Impressed with Platinum Technologies proposal to set up electronic payments and improve upon customer experiences, Ghana Oil requested that Sheila set up a customer payment system within two weeks.  Sheila was up for the task.  As she recalls, it was the hardest two weeks of her life, “I am a very daring person.  At the time, Platinum Technologies didn’t have any systems in place.  I didn’t have anything.”  Six years later and with over 25 employees, Platinum Technologies has gone from 6 payment locations to over 80 nationwide.  Ghana Oil remains one of Platinum Technologies primary clients.

A self-starter with a natural talent in IT Technologies, Sheila’s keen sense for recognizing market needs led her to start Platinum Technologies in 2004.  Over the years and following emerging market needs, Platinum Technologies has shifted from IT Training to providing corporate electronic payment services in the area of card program, loyalty management and services enhancing productivity and efficiency in payments. Moving forward, Sheila hopes to not only work with large corporations but also revolutionize the way Ghanaian organizations such as churches and schools collect payments.

One of Sheila’s greatest obstacles as a businesswoman in Ghana has been access to capitol.  She is hopeful that in the future, women will have greater ease in obtaining sufficient capital to get their businesses off the ground.

Posted By Josanna Lewin

Posted Jul 7th, 2010


  • iain

    July 11, 2010


    Very interesting. There must be so many opportunities opening up in IT for women in Africa. Mendi will have some ideas…!

    A question for you: what do businesswomen like Sheila think about microcredit for women, as a way to jump-start women’s business? Does this get women started, or does it make it harder for women to compete and succeed in a man’s world – as Sheila has so obviously been able to do?

    • Josanna Lewin

      July 15, 2010


      Thanks for reading, Iain. That’s a great question. I’m meeting Sheila tomorrow and will ask about her opinion on the subject. Being that Platinum Technologies is quite large now, microcredit will likely not be helpful to her. But it might have been helpful when she was trying to get her business started. Many women at EWEC are working with micro-businesses and access to any sort of credit would be greatly beneficial. EWEC is hoping to start a revolving fund for members in 2011.

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