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What are the most profitable business ideas in Ghana today? What are the most profitable businesses you can start today? What exactly makes these businesses so worth going into? Are you looking for a business opportunity in Ghana? Are you a student? Have you moved to Ghana recently? What businesses are Ghanaians making it big in?
After carefully studying the Ghanaian entrepreneurship landscape, we have identified a list of the most profitable business ideas in Ghana and put them together in simple language for you in this post. You will also find invaluable advice on how to take advantage of these ideas.
Take a look at this curated list of 50 most profitable business ideas in Nigeria, many of these ideas apply to several other emerging economies. You can also take a look at this article on a list of most profitable online business ideas for beginners which you can start today.
Again, with information from the Ghana National Chamber of Commerce, we have identified the following sectors of the Ghanaian economy with the most lucrative business opportunities.
Are you a fresh graduate? Are you part of the African diaspora seeking a viable investment opportunity back home? Take this list as an inside view of what people do to make money in Africa today.
Most Profitable Business Ideas in Ghana
Now on to our list of most profitable business ideas in Ghana;
1 Kente Vendor
Ghanaians and Africans in general take marriage and culture very seriously. And if you're familiar with Ghanaian marriage ceremonies, you know the significance of the Kente cloth. And that is where you intend to make your fortune.
It's very simple; source for your Kente from the weavers either in the villages or from those who weave anywhere in the cities. You could also employ a few weavers to weave exclusively for you. I know brides who travelled from other cities to Oyibi in the outskirts of Accra just to purchase their precious Kente for an upcoming traditional wedding.
And the profit margins are rewarding trust me. Instagram would likely play a major role in your marketing and promotion.
- This is the kind of business that has a low entry barrier, besides your unique fashion sense, anybody could do what you are doing. This could mean that you have to guard your proprietary designs and nurture your best weavers with handsome tips and allowances.
- Don't make the mistake of relying too much on Instagram: Jealous competitors would harass you by reporting your account every now and then. A way to around this would be to have a backup Instagram account, or set up your own self-hosted online shop and make sure the payment system is as simple and straight to the point as possible. In fact, the entire website design must be simple, customers must easily find the products they want, and pay for them securely and easily.
EnspireFX Website, designers of this platform offer professional web design for businesses. You can always yet in touch with them here.
2 Garbage Collection
I remember my Waste Management professor from KNUST Civil Engineering class repeating that “there is gold in the shit”. And all waste management experts will tell you this for a fact. The only problem is that very few people are even willing to take a long enough look to see the potential I am talking about here.
Running a garbage collection business would be more than just making money, you would literally be taking care of all of us. As for the potential revenue, I can assure you that you would hardly be able to serve your available client base.
How this works is that you'll register a number of properties with a locality, and offer them house-to-house garbage collection and disposal for a monthly fee. In practice, the need for such a service often leaves patrons ready to pay any amount you would charge.
- The actual form of disposal can be rather difficult. You might need a more scientific approach if you plan to take this more seriously. For instance, you could build an advanced incinerator for this purpose.
- You may need a means of sorting the garbage to help simplify the disposal
- Special vehicles, collection equipment, and bins are required
- You may require licencing from your city's officials.
- You may need multiple collection centres are your coverage widens
- Even though you are offering an environmental solution, you would have to deal with EPA officials and satisfy their requirements.
- You can start with a least one tricycle truck
- You could easily secure a public-private partnership contract from your city to offer these services
- Some of the materials collected like plastics and metals could be sold to scrap dealers or recycling companies
3 Fish Farming
One tilapia for your banku and tilapia meal can cost about $2. This should tell you that tilapia farmers are cashing in big. You should see how market women queue and scramble for the commodities when the trucks bring them to the market centres. Many even visit the farms themselves and buy directly from the farmers.
Are you looking for the most profitable business in Ghana? Fish farming would be high on my list of recommendations, especially if you plan to take this as more than just a hobby. Ic could be an ideal side hustle though. I personally know corporate workers and MBA students who have their own fish farms, and the stories of how much they make have already convinced me to look for a piece of land to start mine.
- You'll need some amount of knowledge of fish farming. Many district offices have Agric extension officers who would be invaluable to your operations. They will offer you guidance on feeding the stock, supplying and caring for your fingerlings, and other disease prevention processes.
- You'll need land
- You'll need a couple of paid staff
4 Mobile Money Agent
Register a merchant SIM from Ghana's 3 main telcos, MTN Ghana, Airtel-Tigo, and Vodafone, and identify a location in your locality that is a little bit busy. That's all you need to start your Mobile money agent business.
- The cost of MTN merchant SIM can be quite substantial. I understand you need GH¢4,000 as capital in order to be registered as an MTN Mobile Money merchant
- Depending on your location, it may not be advisable to operate at night.
- If you plan to employ someone, not that the slightest oversight could lead to loss of funds as a result of fraud and thefts.
How to become an MTN Mobile-money agent
If you're interested in becoming a MoMo agent, the process is straightforward. Follow the steps below to begin your registration as a MoMo merchant. Follow these registration steps:
- Dial *5051# using the Business Owner's MTN subscriber line.
- Select “Register” and send.
- Choose your operating region and send.
- You'll receive a reference number via SMS.
- You'll write the reference number on the MoMo registration forms.
- An MTN MoMo official will contact you and visit you to inspect your business location.
- You'll need to complete and submit the following forms for processing:
- Registration Form – Agent/Merchant Form, which requires you to provide company details, attach a copy of the business owner's ID, and include supporting documents such as a Business Registration Certificate, Certificate to Commence Business, Certificate of Incorporation, Form 3/Form A/Form C.
- Registration Form – Agent Account Handler, which requires details of the individual handling the account, along with a copy of any valid photo ID.
- Authentication Questions – Business owners only need to answer 10 out of 21 questions.
- MTN MoMo Agent Engagement Agreement – Complete and sign.
- Processing your new merchant SIM will take up to ten (10) working days after you submit all relevant documents.
Securing a merchant SIM for Airtel-Tigo cash and Vodafone cash is more straightforward, and less demanding.
5 ECG Prepaid Vendor:
Very few people know this, but one very lucrative business anyone can easily do in Ghana is to sell ECG prepaid credit. It will take only someone who has gone into this business to tell you why it's such a profitable business these days.
The real secret here is that the vendors keep the revenue for quite some time, enough for you to be able to use it on some of your other projects before the ECG officials demand settlement.
You can site your ECG prepaid vendor business in residential areas, or in commercial districts as well; if people use power, then they need credit.
- I understand that you need a concrete blockwork shop, This means your initial setup capital needs to be enough to rent a shop.
6 Washing Bay
Find an appropriate location and run a car wash business and you'll make your profit in no time. You just need to make sure your location is along a major highway or corridor. The good thing about the washing bay business is that you can add a few other services like a bar, barbering shop, beauty salon, or other auto mechanic services like oil changing and alignment works.
The cost of water in running this business can be a big issue for many. What we have noticed is that some locate the business along streams or other water bodies and they utilise a pump to access the water.
Don't even think of using GWCL water, the bills alone will swallow your dream. Be mindful that industrial water from GWCL is actually one of the issues the AGI often complains about.
- Problems with managing your workers.
- Problem with finding a permanent location along a highway. The cost of such lands can be out of many people's means.
- Land litigation problems can easily crush your business if you're forced to relocate. Lemme add that in Ghana, many communities are named after washing bays, this tells us that your washing bay could be successful even if you start in a newly built-up area. But you must make sure you have legal access to the land. So that you wont be kicked out in future when your spot is popular and the area becomes more developed because this would be the evergreen times for your business.
7 Poultry Farming
Number 1 on our list of most profitable business opportunities in Ghana would be poultry farming.
With minimal funding mainly to acquire land, farm structures to house the birds, agro-inputs like feed, fungicides, and other medication, day-old chicks, and a few farmhands as caretakers, a profitable poultry business can take off.
- You would require adequate security on your premises to avoid theft
- A clean farm environment is needed to avoid infections.
- Continual income from the sale of eggs
- Very scalable
8 Snail Farming
One business with a faithful demand base is snail farming. Similar to poultry farming, the initial capital can be very minimal
9 Vegetable Farming
The demand for basic vegetables never dips. In fact, the prices of vegetables in our local markets are known to always rise. what is lacking is always imported from neighbouring countries.
Do you have a sizeable farming area and access to a source of irrigation? Then you should definitely consider going into vegetable farming. Produce like onions, tomatoes, garden eggs, carrots, etc, always have a ready market.
Fourth on our list of most profitable businesses in Ghana is owning an Uber. With as low as GHC25,000 to GHC40,000, an extremely profitable business can take off.
The attraction of Uber is that the returns are quick and amazingly very high. If you fund your taxis with a loan, you can easily pay it all off within a couple of years.
How to make money from Uber, Bolt, or any taxi business
Note that the typical taxi model where you hire a driver and pay them a monthly or weekly salary is not popular anymore.
You might not find a good driver with this approach, and even if you do, he or she would like to burden you with one maintenance issue to the next. What is predominant these days is to offer the car to the driver on a work-and-pay basis.
How you do this is to insure the vehicle on a comprehensive insurance cover, install a vehicle tracking system in the car, sum up all these expenses and double it. This will be the future value you would be recouping from this investment. Now apportion it into the number of weeks within 2 years. This will be the weekly payment amount your driver would have to make into the account.
Then set up a dedicated bank account for the driver. Let the driver work and deposit the money into the account. You should monitor this to ensure that the contract progresses smoothly as it should. Make sure you have default clauses in your contract, and again, don't forget the vehicle tracker.
- You would require trusted drivers
- High startup cost
11 Day Care Centre/Basic School
An elite educational centre is so profitable in Ghana that any entrepreneur who invests in it can expect to become rich, provided you are ready to invest some effort into providing value-for-money
- Needs investment in decent classrooms
- Requires trained and faithful attendants and school managers. Such people seem to be found only through months of training and personal investment and coaching
- As a services industry, it requires reputation management and good human relations with parents and the community.
- Difficulty in balancing receivables requires that you hire a strong accounts person and offer value to defuse rumours of being heartless towards defaulting and non-paying parents
- Ruthless competition
- Officialdom and employee social security
- Like any subscription business model, the profits are amazing
12 Photography Services
With the advent of social media, every business and literally every public figure or famous person needs professional and well-edited photographs. And they need them multiple times every few days for social media and content creation purposes.
You can easily see why the photography budget of modern weddings alone can justify the profitability of a photography services business.
In some of Accra's best photo studios, 5 pictures cost GH¢200. Roughly having just 10 customers a day will make you a thriving and profitable business. Add some proper advertising and home service, and you can be an industry leader in just a few years.
- May require setting up a good photo studio in a business district.
- Requires skilled photographers and image editors
- Requires professional cameras and equipment
- Can be successfully run as an online business
- Easily scalable
13 Barbering Saloon
One business venture we can bet on is operating a barbering salon. You'll need a well-furnished shop and a couple of skilled workers, and you; be good to go. Add some quality branding and offer professional service, and you can attract all the middle class in your city.
Think of scaling your barbering saloon by running shift working hours for your team, and spreading out to other operating centres. You can also use technology and business improvement services like loyalty cards and coupon systems. Offer special home service for clients at extra fees.
14 Gym/Fitness Centre
Gyms inspire the subscription business model identified as a prime mark of a profitable business. Healthy living has become a need for many city dwellers. Start a modern gym in any residential suburb of Ghana, and you can quickly run a very profitable business.
15 Food and Drinks
This can take the form of restaurants and small beverage-making businesses. Many of them produce packaged local juices, cereals, pastries, etc. Catering services are actually a most lucrative service the world over.
What makes it so profitable is the cost of preparing the food or drinks is always a small fraction of the revenue. With just a little understanding of Home Economics, you could easily make over 400% profit.
Garnish your business location and add a little good business decision-making, advertising, branding, packaging, and the return on your investment will skyrocket in no time.
16 Real Estate
We added this because the version of real estate that makes long-lasting profits goes beyond just being a middle-man between property owners and renters.
In Ghana today, any form of acquisition of land and buildings for rent or sale is immensely profitable. The margins are simply unbelievable.
Besides residential apartments and townhouses, roadside stores are such hotcakes in many of Ghana's cities.
If you own a chain of stores in Accra, you can be sure to make so so much.
- The high initial investment in land and construction works.
- The most profitable versions are the well-furnished properties with all needed service utilities and amenities
- Land litigation
17 Auto Mechanic Garage
Vehicle owners are constantly in need of skilled auto repair artisans. Mechanics who know what they're doing seem to be an endangered species in Ghana. But that can be your lucrative business opportunity.
How this works is, you set up a fully equipped auto garage and recruit the best auto mechanics you can find to work for you.
You can make your establishment exceptional by making sure that your team of artisans is well-versed in people skills, professionalism, problem-solving abilities, ability to use technology, and strong work ethics
- Managing local artisans can be a difficult task
- Acquiring a site for your garage can be expensive
- To make this catch up quickly, you require modern tools and equipment like diagnostic machines and software. Consider hiring an engineer to manage your operations.
- Quickly scalable
- There is a high demand for quality auto mechanic services
- You could serve the whole nation; clients would be prepared to travel to be served.
- You can offer contract maintenance service for new car owners
- You can secure a contract to service vehicles of other companies
18 Construction Equipment Rentals
Many homeowners in Ghana build their own houses with local construction workers who use simple tools. But many more multi-storey construction works that require more advanced equipment like concrete mixers, reusable formworks, scaffoldings, etc, are springing up all over the cities of Ghana.
This is where your opportunity arises. You can acquire some of these pieces of equipment and offer them for hire to construction workers.
- Requires a high startup capital to purchase the equipment
- You might need to provide a means of transporting the equipment to the construction site.
- Your equipment must be carefully inspected after each order to identify thefts and damages.
- You need a warehouse to stock your equipment
- You'll need a full team to help you in packing, and unpacking, for machines like concrete mixers, you need your own operator to man it for the customer. You'll need your own team of scaffolders as well.
19 Drug Store
Licensed chemical shops and pharmacies are such a vital part of every community, but they're also surprisingly extremely lucrative. Have you noticed those tiny drug stores which have been operating for years and yet they have just a meagre stock of wares?
Well, the reason they continue for years is because of the sheer profitability of this trade.
Now, why are drugstores lucrative? First of all, people are continually needing medication, so you never run out of demand. Secondly, most people just walk into a drug store when they feel sick and report their symptoms to the seller or dispenser.
The seller then offers them the kind of drugs they believe would best offer a cure.
As a trade secret, common drugs like painkillers and anti-malaria drugs, are often added to the “prescriptions” just to be doubly sure that the patient gets well.
How much money can you make if the majority of your customers almost always pay for your product offering without question? Thirdly, the profit margin on the drugs is almost ways over 100%.
- Requires access to supply from a good wholesaler with a good deal, and even a way to manage expired drugs.
- You'll need well-trained over-the-counter assistants
- You'll need to set up your store to a certain standard, consider getting a professional to help you to furnish and set up the store.
20 Outdoor Advertising
If you have the funds to invest, then large outdoor billboards are a sure way to reap huge returns on investment. Renting a billboard in Accra can cost as high as GHC30,000 per month.
Yes, that's how much these brands and religious organizations pay for their outdoor advertising campaigns. Constructing a billboard is not cheap though.
You need a yearly permit from the local assembly for each billboard you erect. You have to set up your own fabrication company or outsource it to another metalworks company.
Then comes the printing of the Flexi banners (PV material), you can also outsource this. Lastly, hoisting the banner of the metal frame is the next difficult task. You might need to hire a crane if the billboard is bigger than a few square meters.
21 Mobile Phone Accessories Retail/Wholesale
Everyone uses mobile phones, and everyone needs mobile phone accessories like phone chargers, batteries, earpieces, phone screen guards, etc. And such items move like hot cake.
If you are looking for a fast-moving item with a high profit margin and low initial investment to sell, then consider mobile phone accessories. To maximise, your returns, you'll need a supply deal with a good wholesaler.
- If you choose a central business district as your base, you should expect tight competition with hundreds of other retailers. Consider siting your business outside the main business centres to reduce competition and help you to capture a more local customer base.
- Your shop must be set up to a standard that reflects the quality of your wares, and this can be expensive.
- Work with shop attendants who are familiar enough with your wares to be able to convincingly address customer questions.
- Can be started with a low startup cost
- Scalable into multiple outlets, and can include mobile phones and other gadgets
- Opportunity to expand into mobile phone repairs
22 Beauty Products Retail/Wholesale
If you visit a well-stocked beauty product wholesale or retailer in any business district in Ghana, you see why we included this as one of the most lucrative businesses you can start in Ghana.
The truth is, cosmetics have a massive market demand and there are many hawkers and street vendors out there. And that is where you come in.
You can open a wholesale or low-cost retail centre in your business district, and if you do this right, your salesperson will have no time to rest all day, because of the sheer volume of sales you'll be making. If you don't believe us, pay a visit to a cosmetics shop in a place like Okaishie in Accra.
- You might have to source your wares from overseas
- You need good inventory management and stock tracking system to check thefts
- You need salespeople with good customer service
23 Building Materials Retail Outlet
A truly fast-moving business you can do in Ghana is to sell building materials like cement, iron rods, and processed wood. These goods are highly in demand all over the country.
You might need to put up your own store for such a business in order to cut down on rent on your store, then also, since your customers are in construction sites in the peri-urban and new residential areas, you don't necessarily need a shop in the business district.
The closer you are to the “new sites” as we call such places in Ghana, the more business you'll make. Also, consider basing in a smaller city and targeting local builders.
- High startup cost
- Difficulty in securing a distributor deal with a manufacturer or a regional wholesaler.
- As part of the housing sector, building materials are a highly volatile market. Of course, the demand for goods is ever-present and prices are on the rise literally by the day. And even though that's indicative of the revenue levels, it's not necessarily all profitability. Because you constantly need a buffer account to stay in business. Imagine placing an order after selling a consignment only to find out that the purchase price from your manufacturer has gone up by a huge margin. This is why many building materials retailers go out of business.
- You might need a means of transporting the goods to the customers' site. Consider acquiring your own delivery truck or outsourcing to local truck drivers.
Funding for small businesses is such a sought-after business that today, the same banks who used to deny loans without collateral securities are now teaming up with mobile money companies to offer loan services to individuals and businesses.
True, there is a level of loan default rate, yet the industry is still as profitable as ever. If you have any finance or accounting background, then a micro-finance company could be your cash cow.
If you don't have a good Finance or accounting background, you could consider starting a “Susu collection” service and growing the business as your experience widens.
The Bank of Ghana clamped down on unlicensed and insolvent microfinance companies and closed down over 300 of them a few years ago. So the industry now has some sanity and trust, which is good for you.
- High startup cost
- You need a professional finance team to manage your loan portfolio
- You need an effective debt recovery system
- You need an effective way to minimised thefts by your staff
25 Courier/Delivery Services
Delivery services were a thing pre-covid, but post-covid, they've become a necessary part of all modern life. As more and more people shop online and e-commerce becomes a normal way to buy and sell in Ghana, delivery and services have also become a very viable and profitable business offering.
You just need to have multiple moto-cyles, town rider vehicles or delivery trucks available to serve your customer needs. Take advantage of social media to advertise and promote your services to online business owners and shoppers.
- Note that many ordinary motorcycle riders inter-city bus drivers and coach services also offer one-on-one courier service as well… so you'll not be the only ones in this business. You have to brand your business properly and nurture an increasing number of satisfied customers. Segmenting the market to identify the right customers you can best serve, will help your business a lot.
26 Light Manufacturing Industry
All manufacturing activities in Ghana are often very lucrative, especially if you produce a fast-moving product. Examples of such products include bottled and sachet water, fruit juice, toiletries, soft drinks, and over-the-counter drugs like painkillers. An example you can go into is the products of nails.
You would need to look for a Chinese manufacturer who makes such a machine. Then you also need a workspace for your factory and hire a team of factory hands and qualified plant managers to help you operate the plant and minimise hazards and incidents.
Add some quality marketing and sales, and you could be an industry leader within a few years.
- High start-up cost
- Is best run if your full attention is given to it
- Managing a team of skilled workers might require human relations skills and systems if you can eliminate time-wasting and increase your production efficiency.
- Might require an elaborate factory establishment
- You'll have to meet regulatory standards
- You need security services to check pilfering
27 How to Start a Lucrative Business in Ghana
Before we get into the list of 20 of the most profitable business ideas to pursue in Ghana, we can identify 7 main factors that make a business lucrative and worth your consideration. You can use these factors to evaluate how profitable a business idea really is.
You easily notice that businessmen who have multiple businesses, often tow this line of business interest, and there's a good reason for that. You'll discover that secret today in the post, so let's dive right in:
1. Personal Interest
As an entrepreneur, you'll do better in a business venture if what you're doing resonates with your “personal calling”. You may start something, but if you don't believe in it, then regardless of how profitable it may be, you might not be able to follow it for the long haul.
2. Existence of an Entry Barrier:
Even though this determines the ease with which you can get set up, it also tells of how much competition you'll have. A business with a low entry barrier is often saturated with so many half-baked setups. It's often very difficult to stand out in such a niche
3. Nature of the Market — Semblance of a Subscription Model:
How often do your customers need your service or products? Do they require it frequently? Is this something they can do without? Is the service you provide something that a customer could use continually and make payments recurrently?
If so, then your business could be profitable just by the nature of the service you provide.
4. Startup Capital
This can be an entry barrier, which reduces saturation in the niche, but if it hinders your ability to get started, then you cannot overlook it.
According to Investopedia, you can think of scalability as your ability to grow as a company, when you are faced with increased demand for your products or services, how easily would your structure and resources be able to meet the demand?
So scalability is the ease with which your business can expand without being constrained by your structure as a company. Can you easily hire more workers and increase your team? How much of what you do as a business can be delegated? If this is something only you can do… then the scalability is low.
6. Fast-Moving Consumer Goods
Not every product is fast-moving, and not every product is used by everyone. Some products have a high inventory turnover, and this can be attributed to the fact that users continually require such products. Also, note that some products have a short use duration and sell at relatively low costs.
Think of transportation services, food and drinks, beauty and barbering salons, and many of the business opportunities we've added to this list of lucrative business ideas in Ghana.
You'll notice that the products or services being offered are continually needed by every single consumer, and sometimes it is needed by everyone. This is how you identify a service or product that is fast-moving.
7. Who is Your Customer?
Not everyone is your potential customer, and not even everyone in your market is your potential customer. Trying to reach everybody would be disastrous for your business because people always have different wants, and you'll be spreading yourself too thin to make any impact.
Some sections of the market may not even bring you enough returns to justify your marketing effort, and you must identify this and strategies accordingly.
Every product is made with a particular customer in mind, and as an entrepreneur, your first step in marketing success is to identify who you are targeting with your products and services.
This is crucial because you'll be spending a lot of money and effort to promote your brand or products to them and attract them to your service offers. If you mistake who you're targeting, it will appear as though your products are irrelevant or out of touch.
There are different classes of people in every society, you might need to identify the main demographic, behavioural, and cultural characteristics of your target market.
To do this effectively, ask yourself questions like where your potential customers are located, what interests them the most, what constitutes their pain points, how old they are, their educational background, and their financial status.
This basic customer analysis and market segmentation will affect your pricing, business location, and area served. It will also impart any corporate social responsibility you intend to pursue.
These are 20 of the most profitable small business opportunities in Ghana that we could come up with. These ideas are workable in most emerging economies like Nigeria, South Africa, Kenya, and others. What are your thoughts on them: and what would you add or take off this list?
You'll surely love this post on profitable online business ideas that still work in 2022, and this other post on how to come up with profitable business ideas.
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