Social Enterprise impacts thousands in Ghana

A new research by the  Social Enterprise Activity in Ghana has revealed that  98 social enterprises in Ghana currently employ 998 young people directly, impacting 103,148 lives in Ghana.

This was announced at the British Council Ghana high level launch of the Social Enterprise Activity in a Ghana Research Report.

The event which was held at the British Council in Accra brought together the private sector, development partners, civil society, academia, government and social enterprise experts.

Welcoming participants, Liliana Biglou, Head of British Council Ghana, recounted her experience with some underprivileged women in Kenya which motivated her to appreciate the value of social enterprise.

“Businesses have power not for profit alone, but to bring social empowerment to societies,” she said.

She reiterated that the British Council is keen to leverage the UK experience with Ghana’s flair for innovation and the need for socially relevant solutions.

From the report, there are about 26,000 social enterprises operating in Ghana.

About 98 social enterprises sampled nationwide for this research are currently employing over 900 people annually earning over GHC 8 million Ghana cedis.

The research identifies some key bottlenecks affecting the growth of the social enterprise ecosystem in Ghana.

These  include 71% reporting access to financing, 47% debt and equity, 32% lack of understanding of social enterprise operational model, 26% lack of technical skills and 32% lack of advisory and other support services.

The report also highlights some growth plans for the ecosystem in Ghana including 59% reporting increase in sales and customers, 61% expanding to new geographical areas and 59% attracting new investments.

The report highlights a positive outlook for the social enterprise in Ghana with the current support systems by government and other development partners including the British Council.

Highlighting some of the achievements in the ecosystem in Ghana, Sydney Hushie – head of British Council Ghana social enterprise programme indicated that the British Council in partnership with the Ministry of Trade and Industry and SE Ghana are in the process of development of a social enterprise policy for Ghana which is to streamline operation of social enterprises.

He also mentioned the setup of a social enterprise network, support of the Social enterprise Award with the AGI and connection of social enterprises to the UK market.

In his keynote address, Dr Ekwow Spio-Garbrah, Minister of Trade and Industry, spoke on the potential of social enterprises to create jobs, transfer technology, and create new products and services.

He mentioned government’s efforts at fostering an enabling environment for social enterprises to prosper.

According to Dr Spio-Garbrah, the government of Ghana has a rural entrepreneurship programme currently running in 161 districts, as well as opportunities for funding made-in-Ghana technology through the GRATIS foundation.