Maria Johana Yourpor is the Head of Business Unit for the ExLA Group Gender Programme – EGGP. She is in charge of the business development strategies in the area of finance for all progammes and projects of the EGGP in cooperation with the Director of Finance and Administration and the Executive Director of the organisation. Her specific tasks in this unit include budgeting and outsourcing funds for programmes and projects under the directorate. She also handles correspondences related to exhibitions of products and services at the Young African Women Congress (YAWC) 2018.
Maria Yourpor is an enthusiastic entrepreneur with a special interest in promoting African products and services especially from Northern Ghana. She is the founder and CEO of Mara Closet and Mara Foods through which she markets her locally made products including necklaces, earrings, bangles and other beaded accessories as well as edibles such as processed and packaged dawadawa, baobab fruit powder, beans flour, sorghum flour, millet flour, peanut butter.
She has a special skill in mobilising people for a common course. She channels this skill in the empowerment of women and girls in rural communities. Mara is currently running the Beautiful Smiles Project; a project propelled by a challenge thrown by the keynote speaker at the second edition of the Young African Women Congress in 2017. Beautiful Smiles Project mentors and trains young girls in Junior High Schools to aspire for higher academic excellence, stay in school and learn some handy skills like bead making, sewing etc.
She has attended several seminars and trainings within Ghana and notable among such are the 2nd and 3rd editions of the Young African Women Congress (YAWC) organised by ExLA Group, Leadership and Entrepreneurial workshop, organised by Kingdom Entrepreneurs Academy, Round Table Conference for women in Entrepreneurship, organised by National Board for Small Scale Industries. She is a member of Ghana Mompreneurs Club, a client at National Board for Small Scale Industries (NBSSI) and a member of Association of Small Scale Industries (ASSI)
Maria holds an M.Phil. in Industrial and Organisational Psychology, and a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology with Philosophy both from the University of Ghana, Legon. She also has diplomas in Marketing, Strategic Management, Customer Care and Human Resource Management from the Institute of Commercial Management, UK.
Maria loves crafts, artwork, traveling and working in rural settings to empower and mentor rural folks especially the youth and women. She aspires to influence the lives of rural dwellers especially the young girls and women, and challenge, motivate and inspire them to live better achieved and fulfilled lives.