About seventy percent of startup businesses in the country do not have social media pages nor any form of social media presence, a Ghana Startup Ecosystem Ranking 2020 put together by the Ghana Tech Lab, an Ecosystem hub.
According to the mapping that ranked measures, nature, and level of Ghana’s Startup Ecosystem in 13 regions across Ghana, currently, even though the pandemic pushed ma y businesses to go online, the numbers were still not encouraging.
Over 3000 companies, institutions, and firms were mapped, captured, and interacted with between 2021 and 2021.
The Ranking spanned six pillars namely; Media, Women & Culture, Human Capital, Support & Infrastructure, Policy, Governance & Regulation, Access to Finance, and Access to Markets.
Giving key findings as regards Access to Market, the lead of the Pillar David Nii Armaah reported that “another important one is social media. Throughout the mapping, we realized that about seventy percent of these startups don’t have social media or any online presence. So, that tells the kind of nature involved in the tech world. And we are in the tech world, it’s something that’s currently evolving and we have to adapt. So, social media is a great medium to exhibit your products for other external local markets as well.
He added that “a lot of startups don’t see the essence of paying and registering to go and exhibit your products. But I think that’s a perfect local strategy for you to engage in these kinds of business that the ministry and other trade organizations organize.”
The findings further revealed per social media use and website ownership by brands as follows: Wa – Social Media 50%; Website 40%, Tamale – Social Media 43%, Website 34%; Sunyani – Social Media 66%, Website 25%; Kumasi – Social Media 75%, Website 56%; Ho – Social Media 84%, Website 38%; Takoradi – Social Media 75%, Website 43%; Bolgatanga – Social Media 38%, Website 27; Cape Coast social media 21, website 21; WaleWale – Social Media 5%, Website 5%; Koforidua – Social Media 12%, Website 25% Accra – Social Media 73%, Website 71%.
Per Human Capital improvement, the Pillar Lead Selorm Tito Ayikoe reported “the human capital ecosystem is improving at a very fast pace. This is something I’m very excited about. If you go around the country, you would notice that a lot of people are learning online and the pandemic has even made it more imperative. And we have members of the youth going online and learning stuff on their own without having to wait for their school to have something like that. And this exposure online has made more people realize that they are far behind and need to do a lot more.”
Finance Pilar lead Nanette Elorm Bonnie also indicated “most of the startups think the initial support they can get has to be monetary but that is not mostly the case. There are institutions available that are toeing the line of giving them mentorship. That is one sector that financial institutions are looking at, mentoring them into how to properly structure their business. And you have some investors not deciding to work with startups because down the line of five years, the business is no more, the business doesn’t grow again so we have these financial institutions working with startups to train them for their continuity plan, giving them financial literacy training.”
Per the Media Pillar, findings indicate that most of the businesses across the country used Radio as a tool to publicize their brands. It’s only in Accra that a larger percentage of businesses utilized social media
The findings are as follows: Wa – Radio and Blogs; Tamale – Radio; Sunyani – Radio; Kumasi – Radio; Ho – Radio; Takoradi – Radio; Bolgatanga – Radio; Koforidua – Radio; WaleWale – Radio; Accra – Social Media.
Culture, Media, and Women Pillar lead Emelia ENyonam Kuleke reported that “the pillar as a whole has a very strong state currently. Looking at covid, for instance, businesses shot up in terms of sales during the pndemic because they had to capitalise on social media to promote their business.”
She said “…female business that was on social media trying to capitalize on it. Currently, we are in that digital phase where most people have migrated onto the internet and if you’re a business and you’re not promoting your business online, you’re really losing out.”
“We had one of our businesses coming out during one of our sessions,, she is actually closing her physical shop. She did a training with us, and after the training for about six months, and the kind of sales she is making from social media, she has decided to even close down her shop.”
She added “so, we would ask individuals to engage us in our training programs which we will run across the country with our 21 partner hubs. These trainings are for free to equip yourselves in digital skills so you can utilize this to boost your business.”