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Research Report: The Ghanaian Ecosystem of Tech Startups and SMEs

Ghana has been identified as one of the fastest growing economies in Africa with the potential to do much more with its stable political economy, young dynamic population, growing digital adoption and the bankability of its population. These are factors that have also influenced the growth of technology startups and SMEs in the country who have great ambitions to achieve greater scale and impact.

Our latest report on The Ghanaian Ecosystem of Tech Startups and SMEs explores what all players in Ghana’s business and technology ecosystem can do to unleash the full potential of Ghana’s ecosystem with direct impact on the growth of tech startups and SMEs.

The past three years, though challenging in many ways due to COVID 19, has witnessed exponential growth in startup activity, while the SME space in Ghana remains relatively underdeveloped. Both startups and SMEs are not yet close to creating the level of economic transformation witnessed in upper-middle (UMIC) and high-income countries (HIC) and desired in low-income (LIC) and lower-middle-income countries (LMIC).

The report looks to better understand the potential for increased tech entrepreneurship and innovation in Ghana, and addresses three key questions:

  1. What is the current state of the startup and SME ecosystems in Ghana?
  2. What are the main challenges they face?
  3. What opportunities are there to support startups and SMEs to drive socio-economic progress in Ghana?

Our key recommendations from this report are to significantly increase initiatives for startups and SMEs that increase access to relevant capital for startups and SMEs, deep technical and business skills and services, value chain consolidation and proliferation, and relevant and transformational strategic and operational capacity and capabilities.

The data and findings presented in this report are the outcome of several research efforts conducted by MEST to help inform our strategy and design for three new programs that were rolled out in 2020. These three programs are addressing various challenges within the Ghanaian tech ecosystem for startups and SME:

Pre-MEST: supporting young people to get digital skills so they can gain digitally-enabled work

MEST Express: supporting early-stage digitally-enabled startups to grow and accelerate.

MEST Scale: supporting established SMEs to scale.

Technology is no longer a standalone sector, but a critical cornerstone for how work is and will be done in society. Used properly, technology in startups and SMEs have the amazing ability to positively impact people and communities.

Download the full report for free here.



Navigating the African tech ecosystem through news, lessons learned, and best practices from entrepreneurs, investors, and hubs across the tech ecosystem. Produced by MEST.

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The largest Africa-wide technology entrepreneur training program, internal seed fund, and network of hubs offering incubation for startups: