After studying Law at the University of Liverpool, she gained a passion for global health, eventually earning her master’s degree in the topic from Georgetown University in Washington DC. Embracing her university’s devotion to social justice, and a chance to help bridge the health equity gap in developing countries, Elsie was finally able to use her legal career to make a difference by establishing her own global health firm committed to seeking justice and restoring accountability to the health sector.

How it all began

Success did not come easily for Elsie. While the spark of her idea had always burned, she felt inadequately equipped to face the daunting challenges ahead.

“I had only a few years of legal experience, had almost no savings, and didn’t feel qualified enough to start my own business. I was optimistic about the future but I knew I had some big hurdles to overcome beforehand.”

Seeking help, Elsie appealed to Enterprise Hub, a programme she learned about at an event hosted by The Women’s Organisation. It was here that she met senior business advisor, Huda Mamoun and her entrepreneurial spirit was fully ignited.

How the Enterprise Hub helped

Through a series of 1-2-1 meetings, the Huda guided Elsie, helping her assemble a business strategy, establish contacts, and gain access to a wide variety of resources. Elsie found The Women’s Organisation’s training courses particularly useful, helping to demystify complicated concepts and provide factual information on the legalities of starting a business.

“My business adviser Huda was a big help in pointing me to the right resources, she was also able to connect me with other woman who were on the same journey as me.”

Armed with newfound confidence and a growing support network of likeminded businesswomen, Elsie took the plunge into self-employment. She quickly secured several consulting contracts for Livful Inc and global health organisations such as The Global Health Advocacy Incubator and The O’Neill Institute of National and Global Health Law. There she worked on WHO, Lancet and Global Health Security Agenda projects, drafting health legislation for various countries.

In 2019 she launched the aptly named Lamèsè, meaning ‘good health’ in Ewe, Ghana’s native tongue. Acting as the UK’s sole director, Elsie soon established a subsidiary branch in Accra, Ghana. From this base the company works to improve maternal healthcare and prevent maternal deaths caused by medical and systemic errors.

The future

Despite the turbulence of current affairs, Lamèsè has adapted to life in the COVID era. Capitalising on Elsie’s position as a Global Health Lawyer and Consultant, Lamèsè has become an integral part of Vital Strategies’ COVID-19 global legal response team, advising on healthcare workers’ legal protections and worldwide emergency healthcare delivery.

Having left her 9 to 5 life behind, Elsie continues to campaign for better healthcare. Her sights are now firmly set on issues in the UK’s foster care system for 2021.

“I am looking forward to expanding the business and becoming a relevant voice in the health policy space within the UK and beyond. I am excited about the future and very pleased with the support I have gained from The Women’s’ Organisation so far.”