Ghana's elite female entrepreneurs : what can policy makers learn from their success?.

Date of Award


Document Type



College of Liberal Arts

Degree Name

Bachelor in Arts


Women entrepreneurship and development have become economic, social and political matters that are reshaping countries by giving women opportunities to establish, own and manage their own businesses. Ghana is one such country in Africa, where women are making significant changes in the economy. The purpose of this thesis is to understand some of the factors that have led to the success and development of elite women entrepreneurs in Ghana, and how they are contributing to the global conversation of women's empowerment. In order to gain the in-depth knowledge required to understand the entrepreneurial environment in Ghana, the 2010 Ghana Census, World Bank: Data, the 2007 Ghana World Bank Enterprise Survey data set that included 616 establishments, and the 2013 Ghana World Bank Enterprise Survey data set that included 720 establishments are analyzed (Enterprise Survey, World Bank). Further, seven elite Ghanaian women entrepreneurs from various industries, including energy and gas and oil, cosmetic science, media and entertainment, real estate, professional services, manufacturing, hospitality and restaurant, and wholesale and consumer retail in Accra, Ghana are interviewed. Three factors are presented as leading to the success of seven elite women entrepreneurs: early exposure to entrepreneurial activities and education; continual development of self and human capital (e.g., employees); and facing and overcoming obstacles (e.g., lack of access to finance, land and electricity). These lead to three recommendations for policy makers to help replicate the success of these entrepreneurs: promoting average entrepreneurs via sustained self-development and training opportunities through school and/or professional environments; continual creation of mechanism to identify potential entrepreneurs and making sure those entrepreneurs have access to finance, not informally through their families, friends and selves; and establishing mentors-hip programs and role model institutions to create opportunities and provide training and support for other, and future entrepreneurs.