The most prominent tech start-ups globally are the ones people interact with on a daily basis, like Instagram, Venmo, WhatsApp. They target consumers, not businesses.
Many Ghanaian start-ups, however, find it difficult to crack the B2C market, where the costs of acquiring a new user is high and the typical user’s spending power low. Besides the fast moving consumer goods (FMCG) companies, few companies have been able to tap into the B2C market successfully.
For these reasons, many of the start-ups in Ghana target businesses, who have more cash to pay for the start-ups’ products and services; start-ups who start out as B2C end up pivoting to B2B or business to business to consumer (B2B2C). If your solution is a B2C one, potential investors will likely ask a lot of questions around how you plan to make money in a market where so many others have not had success.
Businesses exist to solve problems by providing solutions in return for cash. Where there are problems there are opportunities, businesses succeed when they can identify, evaluate and create solutions to problems at a price which people are willing to pay.
With 58% of the population having a bank account mostly driven off by the rise of mobile money wallets, it enables for more commerce to be done relying on phones. Now customers in remote places can pay for services using mobile money. Transactions now cover everything from cinema tickets, utilities payments (electricity, water), telecoms (internet & call data) to church offerings.
Income has been rising across West Africa and, according to Standard Bank, Ghana had approximately 1.3m middle-class households in 2014. This base will continue to support spending. Personal expenditure is set to achieve a compound annual growth rate of 12% between 2013 and 2020.
A rise of ecommerce from local firms such as Tonaton and OLX as well as Jumia, the African Amazon has benefited from this growth of the middle class. With more people having disposable income, their spending patterns gradually moving from necessities to convenience.
Additionally, as more time is spent at work, available time to go shopping decreases. With over 20 different e-commerce firms in the country, it is a clear indication that the opportunity is growing.
Getting people and goods from point A to B is challenging in Ghana. With a growing middle class, Ghana is home to 3 of the largest ride hailing companies like Uber, Bolt (Formally Taxify) and Yango (Yandex Taxi) as well as local companies like Dropping & Yenko. Not just people but goods have to move too. The rise of catering companies has seen various delivery services needing to arise.
Food security has become a major concern as the world’s population increases and natural resources dwindles. With roughly 52% of the Ghanaian population involved in agriculture and agriculture being responsible for 54% of Ghana’s GDP. With imports bill of $2.4 billion USD, there is a need to innovate and increase production. This requires the need for smart solutions, increase efficiency in farming and interventions across the farming value chain. Examples of some firms in the agriculture value chain include: AgroCenta (digital food distribution platform), TroTro Tractor (proving farmers Tractors as a Service), Profish (helping fishermen have access to market), QualiTrace (insuring farm inputs are genuine), TechShelta (Greenhouse farming).
Tip: Roughly 30% of food goes to waste before it reaches the market. That is just one of the many challenges that the agriculture sector faces. There are many other opportunities throughout the value chain.