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Investigating the Small and Medium Enterprise Landscape of Accra, Ghana: Prospects and Barriers to Economic Development
MILITARY ACADEMY WEST POINT NY NETWORK SCIENCE CENTER (NSC)
Pagination or Media Count:
As part of its ongoing studies of economics, capital markets, and economic development in frontier and emerging markets, researchers from the Network Science Center at the U.S. Military Academy, West Point, spent seven days in Ghana meeting with local entrepreneurs and financiers to improve their understanding of the challenges faced by Small and Medium Enterprises SMEs in emerging markets. The goal of this fact-finding trip was to create a quantitative and networked-based framework in which to successfully analyze these challenges. This paper will summarize the lessons that the team learned, describe specific details faced by entrepreneurs in Ghana, and propose a framework to analyze the process of establishing SMEs in a country like Ghana. The team met with a diverse range of firms to include a human resources firm, a call center and back-office outsourcing company, a billboard advertising company, an industrial automation improvement product manufacturer, and a traditional metal and cosmetics manufacturer. The team was also fortunate to meet with partners at an African-based investment banking firm that has offices in Accra, Lagos, and Johannesburg. By request, we have made anonymous any specific or identifying business information so as not to divulge any information that might harm the businesses from a competition standpoint. The companies ranged in size from two people albeit with a large amount of out-sourced labor to approximately 25 employees, with annual revenues ranging from approximately US 1-3 million. These firms were innovative and vibrant organizations with ambitious growth plans contrary to western stereotypes. A follow-on white paper will describe the proposed framework in much greater detail.
APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE