Barriers and opportunities for sanitation SMEs: a study of the wider market system in Ghana

Themes: Container-based sanitation Faecal sludge management Market development Sanitation
Countries: Ghana

This Topic Brief presents a study of the wider market barriers and opportunities facing small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in sanitation in Ghana.

Conducted by i-San, the study aimed to understand the impact of these factors on the ability of businesses to reach low-income urban communities with appropriate products and services.

Major barriers to entry for sanitation start-ups in Ghana are the lack of start-up capital; lack of access to affordable banking services (particularly the cost of borrowing); inadequate public infrastructure; and the high cost of creating partnerships with the public sector.

Ghana’s challenging micro-economic climate is the primary barrier impacting the viability of sanitation SMEs. This includes high interest rates; limited access to operational finance; currency depreciation; and high cost of utility.

The study identified several opportunities to support sanitation SMEs in Ghana, including innovative finance; training and business development support; reinforcement of representative associations; and reinforcing the policy and regulatory environment.