As a boarding student in a Ghanaian high school, Yaw Duffour-Awuah discovered that several of his classmates who lived several hundred miles away were regularly unable to travel home for brief holidays due to lack of funds. The young man, spotting opportunity, quickly launched his company, Apex Loans. He was only 16 at the time.

His model was simple: He gathered a small group of friends who became his business partners and pooled capital from all of them. His company would then provide small loans to student borrowers who were in dire financial need, with interest. It was a service that most students inevitably needed at some point or the other, and before long, business blossomed.

Duffour-Awuah renamed Apex Loans to Student Aid Plus, and the company has evolved from a small micro-lending organization to a financial services company which among other things offers financial literacy education to Ghanaian high school students. The company also has a savings and loan program that helps students pay school fees and provides for upkeep during school sessions.