Running a small business in Ghana comes with lots of challenges. Aside the fact that Ghana is a developing country, some businessmen and businesswomen perceive it as being characterized by ethnic and political discrimination. There is also the issue of price instability, resulting in comparatively higher inflation rate, which keeps reducing the purchasing power day by day, and increasing cost of operations as production inputs continue to rise steadily. Other challenges include high electricity bills and water bills, business operating permit , income taxes and even bribery.
Our economy is still a developing one. GDP growth rate has been low considering the capacity of growth. There is also low salaries which also leads to low disposable income. This is due to the fact that the government is the biggest employer in our formal sector. The local startup ecosystem still relies heavily on the support of the government and and to an extent, the benefits of urbanization.
Another challenge is registration and regulations. Majority of the workers in these government agencies are laid back in doing their jobs in comparison to workers of private companies. Therefore as a private business man, it is up to you to push very hard to get things done – in some cases offering tips to workers in order to receive basic services in a timely manner. If you are able to go past this stage, then the market is all yours to face. The organization of markets and industries itself present challenges (as well as opportunities) to all participants.
Also other major limitations are, the relatively low internet penetration, intermittent shortage in power generation and high electricity costs, and legislative supports, high level of corruption and limited access to VC and seed money.
However there are some few prospects you can focus on during your start and figure out ways to take advantage of them.
Opportunities in Ghana
Despite the seemingly endless challenges, there are also numerous reasons for anyone to start a small business in the country. Ghana presents a large youth population, gradual economic expansion and development, robust telecommunication infrastructure, abundant human resource, low wages among others. The legal system is one that is fast developing and presents numerous courts for redress. In addition, there is a generally supportive socio-political environment -one conducive for investors and entrepreneurs looking at doing business in Africa for the long-term
Attractive industries you can focus on include but not limited to tourism, media & entertainment, e-jobs, agriculture, manufacturing, financial services.