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Development Research for startup ecosystems: A highlight of past ecosystem Mapping in Ghana, 2013 TO 2019: Part 2


Aug. 31, 2020, 4:49 p.m.

The third study highlighted was conducted in 2018 by Venture Capital for Africa (VC4A).

Summary Points:

VC4A research on 522 Ghanaian ventures registered on their platform ( shows a relationship between venture performance, and the support these ventures receive from the Ghanaian startup ecosystem. For example, 50% of companies participating in ecosystem support programs secure investment compared to companies that do not participate in non-ecosystem support programs.

More interestingly, the average investment secured is more than 2.5 times higher for the ventures receiving ecosystem support: USD $322K vs USD $124K. These companies are also more likely to create new jobs.

Venture Capital for Africa (VC4A) produced an annual research report on trends in the progress of the VC4A network, and to help document the journey of the African startup community at large. The startup ecosystem research series looks at how startup ecosystems add value to successful venture creation. They used inputs from a local expert Ashwin Ravichandra (Director of MEST Accra), and 16 face-to-face interviews in their effort to answer the following research question: ‘How does the Ghana startup ecosystem add value?’ which resulted in the: VC4A report on Ghana’s Startup Ecosystem is titled: 2018 StartUp Ecosystem Analysis, Ghana.

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The results of the report presented findings on the following:

  • Research Question: How does the Ghana StartUp Ecosystem add value?
  • The Research Methodology:
    • The VC4A Research Team directly collected data from founders and startup ecosystem organizations.
    • The research data provided overviews of country and sector activity as well as insights into trends.
    • Data is collected through an annual survey and the online platform on an ongoing basis.
    • Quantitative data is analyzed from data from startups and ecosystems organizations
    • 522 organizations were engaged in the study from Ghana per registered members on the VC4A platform.
    • A sample of 84 startups was used for the startup ecosystem analysis.
    • Qualitative analysis was prepared in collaboration with country Experts that have an inside of what is happening in the market.
    • Interviews were also conducted with industry leaders and startups to add details to key findings and also highlight case studies’ results about select startups in the industry.
  • Venture data per city.
    • Ventures registered/based in Ghana: 522
    • Of the 522 ventures, Accra(70%), Kumasi(11%),19%(spread across other regions).
  • Startup Ecosystem building organizations with local offices in Ghana were 95.
    • Accra had 78 in the range of above 11 organizations, followed by Kumasi with a range of 6-10 organizations and 1-5 spread across the country.

The VC4A 2018 Ghana online report can be read here.

Strengths of Study

  • The study adopted a mix method approach which allowed room for validation of the statistical figures.

Weakness of Study

  • The data used for their quantitative study was only from their online platform, thus not giving a holistic view of the startup ecosystem across Ghana, as most grassroot data isn’t captured.

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Finally, the last study highlighted in this article focuses on the 2019 Q2 GHANA TECH ECOSYSTEM OUTLOOK by BRITERBRIDGES.COM in COLLABORATION WITH TECH NOVA and GHANA TECH LAB.

Summary Points

In 2019, Briters bridges in collaboration with TECH NOVA and Ghana Tech Lab released an infographic of the tech ecosystem outlook of Ghana.

The map contains, and outlines startups from different sectors across the country including Fintech, Education, Logistics, Health etc. The map also outlines some investors and hot global/annual events

However, the data presented covered only 3 regional capitals of Ghana namely Tamale, Kumasi and Accra. Kindly find the infographic below below:

In their current database, additional companies have been added to locations like Sunyani and Takoradi, expanding their content on regions to an additional two.

Therefore the current data they have on tech companies are 144 in number with respect to the following locations/regions; Greater Accra, Ashanti Region, Northern Region, Western Region, and Brong-Ahafo Region.

The infographic can be found here, and the current database can be found here.

Strengths of Study

  • They grouped startups and enablers in categories of similarity
  • They possess an online and continuous database of their study that is readily available to the public.

Weakness of Study

  • About 90% of their data focused on ventures in Accra with less focus on other regions of the country.


From this review:

  • Accra houses over 50% of startups and startup support organizations followed by Kumasi and Tamale with the least.
  • Other regions apart from these 3 capitals have a lesser number of startups and are yet to see growth in the ecosystem.
  • Identifying ecosystem enablers and mapping them was a less priority area in the snapshot studies conducted from 2017 to 2019, thus not capturing comprehensive data on them.



It is recommended that, a follow up study that will be comprehensive and focus on presenting data that captures local ecosystems across Ghana and highly involves local stakeholders be conducted to allow for a realistic presentation of ecosystem relevant data that reflects local needs as well as allow easy consumption by all stakeholders ranging from; enablers, startups, investors, donors and any other body interested in promoting ecosystem activities.


In conclusion, ecosystem enablers should focus on merging the approaches adopted by studies highlighted in this article to come out with a holistic approach to mapping local ecosystems in Ghana and the world at large.

Authors: This article was written by:

Mohammed Suhuyini Zakaria, David Nii Armaah, & Selorm Ayikoe Tito (Research Team, Ghana Tech Lab)

tag: Ghana Tech Lab, ghana, Ghana Startup Ecosystem,


Emelia Kuleke Author