Top 10 Facts about Poverty in Ghana
In the last two decades, poverty in Ghana has drastically reduced due to an increase in economic factors, despite poverty still dominating more rural areas where there is not enough access to food and other basic necessities. 

Top 10 Facts about Poverty in Ghana

  1. Between the years 1991 and 2012, the poverty rate in Ghana has been cut by more than half, from 52 percent to 21 percent.
  2. In 2011, the country was considered to have a middle-class economy. Ghana accomplished such status by obtaining a more skilled labor force and geographical mobility.
  3. Despite the booming economic growth, poverty in Ghana is still prevalent. Poverty has shifted from urban areas to now more rural areas of the country; in fact, rural poverty is almost four times higher than urban poverty.
  4. According to UNICEF, the poverty reduction rate has declined in recent years. There is only a 1.1 percent reduction rate per year since 2006.
  5. The northern region of the country makes up the largest number of citizens in poverty in Ghana. Since the 1990s, the poverty rate in the northern region has dropped from 55 percent to 50 percent.
  6. In Ghana, children are 40 percent more likely to live in poverty than adults. UNICEF states that 1.2 million households are unable to supply an adequate amount of food for their children.
  7. Overcrowding and homelessness are some of the many reasons for poverty in Ghana. According to Habitat for Humanity, many houses in the country lack ventilation and basic amenities.
  8. In more rural areas, outbreaks of cholera are common from lack of inside toilets in homes. Using the bathroom outside or in public pits contributes to the passing of hazardous diseases.
  9. The World Food Program reports that twenty-seven percent of households are at risk of hunger in Ghana. About a third of the population is living on less than $1.25 a day, which means obtaining food is extremely difficult.
  10. In 2006, infant mortality rates were cut by half, although healthcare is still poor in the country. The northern regions only have nine percent of hospitals even though it holds a majority of the population. Citizens in the northern region of Ghana have to travel far distances to reach hospitals and travel costs can be high.

Combating Challenges

Ghana is continuing to grow despite its problems with poverty. In fact, the nation is considered to have one of the world’s fastest growing economies in the world. At the end of 2017, the economy increased for the fifth successive quarter.

The economy has increasingly focused on agricultural growth, which has created more jobs. Ghana’s government has also been spending money on educating workers that in return will create more money for the country. One of Ghana’s greatest challenges for the future is spreading development evenly throughout the country, and one can only wish Ghana success in combating such an issue.

– McKenzie Hamby
Photo: Unsplash

Evolvin’ Women
The social enterprise, “Evolvin’ Women,” connects hospitality partners in Dubai with women from developing countries who lack access to education and employment. Evolvin’ Women’s international work and internship placements provide women in Ghana with training and experience in the hospitality industry.

These connections would otherwise be non-existent in many women’s lives due to personal, political and cultural circumstances in the developing world. Training opportunities empower women to return to their home countries with higher-paying jobs and better suited to support their family, community and national growth.

Evolvin’ Women

Based in Dubai, Evolvin’ Women empowers women to acquire leadership roles both in business and in their communities, especially in the Ghanan hospitality industry. Year-long internships in Dubai provide training across the different functions of hotel operations, via both face-to-face and e-learning methods.

Interns in Dubai receive hundreds of mentorship hours and complete online certified training programs. According to Assia Riccio, founder of Evolvin’ Women, entry level hospitality work in Ghana pays around $400 a month.

Life at Home Post-Dubai

After completing the Dubai program, women can return home with double the pay grade. After 14 months with Evolvin’ Women, entry level workers can return with the skills of a supervisor, which is often a position filled only by men. In addition to a pay increase for those completing the program, the hotels receive a “social impact” report, which illustrates how women are better equipped to support their families and other women in their own communities. By empowering women economically and getting more women “at the table,” the plight of positive social and political change becomes feasible.

Evolvin’ Women measures its impact in how it fulfills the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The organization focuses on “Quality Education,” “Gender Equality” and “Decent Work and Economic Growth,” and as Professor Jeffery of MiddleSex University in Dubai and mentor to the women says, “Economic growth through the advancement of women will not be possible unless we provide women with opportunities and also empower them to take up those opportunities.”

By educating and promoting the working capacity of women in developing countries, Evolvin’ Women increases gender equality. In places like Ghana, women make up more than half of the population but their role in all walks of society is second to men.

Creating Gender Equality

Out of 110 million out of school children in developing nations, 60 percent are girls. Families often choose to educate their first boy due to financial reasons, which oftentimes leaves girls of the family with little social opportunity. Programs like Evolvin’ Women help break this cycle by providing tools these women desperately need to become influential and mobile in their communities.

Evolvin’ Women is part of Dubai’s Corporate Social Responsibility Program. It receives support from its Dubai Startup Hub that provides entrepreneurial assistance, the Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry, and the Market Access program that facilitates corporate connections with the hotel group Sofitel, who hosts Evolvin’ Women at The Retreat Palm Dubai. Evolvin’ Women is also a member of Dubai Business Women Council and Consult And Coach For A Cause.

Going Above and Beyond

All these programs demonstrate how countries like The United Arab Emirates can go above and beyond traditional aid. In providing entrepreneurial opportunities in Dubai, organizations like Evolvin’ Women have the chance to reach developing countries in new and meaningful ways. Founder Riccio sees there is a clear need to help developing countries beyond aid packages.

Aid can be a temporary fix that changes millions of lives, but funds cannot be expected to forever flow from outside resources. Organizations like Evolvin’ Women and Dubai-based entrepreneurship programs take the initiative to empower women in developing countries above and beyond the expectations of aid, setting a precedent for social change through entrepreneurship.

– Joseph Ventura
Photo: Flickr

In early Ghanaian society women were seen only as child-bearers subservient to male dominance. In fact, a famous Ghanaian proverb states, “A house without a woman is like a barn without cows.” Women in Ghana have faced strict societal gender norms and fought to make great strides towards overcoming them, specifically in the workforce.

Ghanaian Women in the Workforce

Ghanaian women in the workforce are greatly involved, and heavily impact Ghana’s economy. These improvements for Ghanaian women have come in the last decade, and one company, “Divine Chocolate,” has been a huge contributor for this change.

Divine Chocolate has changed the lives of many farmers, and has specifically improved conditions for Ghanaian women in the workforce. The organization started a Women’s Cocoa Farming Training program that not only teaches women reading, writing and arithmetic, but it also teaches small business skills and specific trades: soap making, batik, and vegetable gardening, to name a few. This knowledge can add to Ghanian women’s income and help provide for themselves and their families.

Efforts such as these have not only taught women valuable skills and given them new work opportunities, but it has also greatly empowered Ghana women. In addition to the valuable skills taught by “Divine Chocolate,” another company fighting for Ghana women is called “Global Mamas.”

Global Involvement

Global Mamas helps a village in southern Ghana with their textile industry and connects them with a larger global marketplace to sell their goods. The women are also provided with training for their future work and given a new opportunity in the textile industry.

Ghanaian women in the workforce have persevered in the face of adversity, especially against societal views against them. Women face many more challenges entering into work than their male counterparts do, but this has not stopped them. Global Entrepreneurship Monitor even revealed in a study that Ghana women are more often entrepreneurial than the men in their country.   

Female participation in the workforce in Ghana is at an all-time high of 96.1 percent. Ghanaian women are not only involved in the workforce, but they are also leading it. According to the Mastercard Index of Women’s Entrepreneurship, women in Ghana make up 46.4 percent of all business owners in the country.

Over the past decade, women in Ghana have made great strides working and boosting their economy. Females are powerful, as seen in the entrepreneurial attitude and success of Ghana’s women. These strides in the workforce create new opportunities for women throughout the country and will continue to have an impact for the future of Ghanaian women in the workforce.

– Ronni Winter

Photo: Flickr

Health Regulation in GhanaHealth regulation in Ghana has strengthened in recent years. Ghana has made great progress to improve its public health conditions, and the international community has also assisted in its endeavors to better health procedures and legislation. Below are five facts about health regulation in Ghana.

Facts about Health Regulation in Ghana

  1. Ghana passed its first Comprehensive Public Health Bill. This is a crucial milestone for public health within Ghana, and more generally, Africa. Ghana has domestically expanded programs for tobacco control, vaccinations, food and drugs, environmental sanitation, infectious diseases and more. The Public Health Bill essentially enhances the recognition and responses to public health issues. This bill emulates Public Health Institutions in Norway, which is one of the strongest healthcare systems in the world.
  2. Ghana and the International Association of National Public Health (IANPHI) have been allies since 2009. The IANPHI has helped Ghana create institutions, websites and legislation addressing new public health procedures. The IANPHI have helped health regulation in Ghana by providing resources to combat outbreaks, by assisting the creation of Ghana Health Service and by supporting The site updates Ghanaians and the global sector about public health news.
  3. Health regulation in Ghana has been monitored by the World Health Organization (WHO). The WHO has listed a number of Ghana’s achievements since 2005. Ghana has passed many health bills that align with the values of International Health Regulation (IHR). The WHO has also trained public health officials and staff about IHR protocol. Ghana continues to stay in contact with WHO and abides by IHR.
  4. Ghana’s mental health system is improving rapidly. In 2012, Ghana enacted a new Mental Health Act. The provision includes that individuals with mental health issues retain their human rights and that the system mirrors modern mental health programs. The Mental Health Act provides protection and treatment for those who struggle with these issues. Additionally, the bill established the Mental Health Authority, Health Review Tribunals, Regional Visiting Committees and the Mental Health Fund.
  5. Fortunately, human rights are becoming highly entwined with public health practices in Ghana. IHR’s underlying principles are based on human rights. Ghana has inherited its values when implementing public health bills and programs. Each patient must be treated with dignity, particularly mental health patients since they were previously discriminated against. Prior to 2012, Ghanaians would shackle individuals who had mental health issues. Fortunately, the public is being educated, and the stigma is changing.

Ghana and the international community have made great strides to amend and better its healthcare system. Ghana has set a precedent for other Sub-Saharan countries — it could act as a beacon of hope for nations struggling with the implementation of public health legislation.

– Diana Hallisey
Photo: Flickr

how the media misrepresents Ghana
The media today is prone to reporting stereotypes about developing countries. This kind of coverage far outnumbers fact-based coverage, making it difficult to filter out false information. Yet the public must rely on the media to provide non-domestic news. Therefore, should the media be tainted with misinformation, the public outlook will also be tainted, and one of the most misrepresented places in the world is Africa’s west coast.

News Reports Do Not Match Personal Experiences

Adrian Heath, a rising senior at Colgate University, recently studied abroad in Ghana during his junior year. In his descriptions of Ghana, it was clear how his perceptions had changed over time. He spoke to The Borgen Project about his mindset before departure: “I had all of the typical stereotypes in my head like poverty and AIDS. I expected to see a lot of beggars.” Heath’s head had been filled with images and stories from how the media misrepresents Ghana and other African nations.

His perception changed upon his arrival country-side. Almost immediately, he realized how skewed his perception had been. “We went out in the city and some parts were so beautiful it really surprised me… It could have been any American city.” His preconceived notions were whisked away with the beauty of Ghanaian life.

He said that there are a lot of “great spots for tourism” in Ghana, a landscape littered with beautiful beaches and resort locations. Accra is a coastal city, perfectly situated to host tourists who are interested in experiencing Ghanaian culture. The irony is that people avoid visiting due to the negative portrayal of Africa, missing out on a chance to have a positive experience in Ghana.

Ghanaians React to How the Media Misrepresents Ghana

Ghanaians are aggrieved by how the media misrepresents Ghana. Ismail Akwei, a journalist for Africa News, analyzed Ghanaian reactions to an article published by CNN. In the article, Ghanaians are portrayed as “struggl[ing] to obtain food and day-to-day services. Rolling blackouts are common and citizens often stand in long line [sic] to obtain products.”

The people of Ghana quickly turned to Twitter to express their disgust at the negligent reporting, utilizing the hashtag #CNNGetItRight. One user, Kafui Dey, tweeted: “Ghanaians are not struggling to obtain food. We are not standing in long lines to obtain products. I know. I live here.” Another Ghanaian, Nana Ama Agyemang, tweeted: “Such lazy coverage of a fantastic story by @CNN. No nuance, just the usual template ‘Africans are suffering’.”

Ghanaians have also been expressing their disdain for their elected officials, who do nothing to reverse how the media misrepresents Ghana. President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo was elected on a platform of change. In an open letter to the president that was published by Ghana News, Dr. Elvis Asiedu Afram pleaded for the president to enact some of the change he had promised, writing, “Mr. President, nine months after your historic assumption of office, it has become increasingly tedious to defend the change we proudly supported and campaigned for…. What was the change message about if things were to remain the same?”

Change Comes from Within Ghana

The peoples’ cries were heard when the president publicly endorsed a plan to increase Ghana’s domestic commerce, a move that would help gain independence from foreign aid and empower Ghana as a nation. An article on Ghana’s official presidency website quoted the president as saying, “Government is empowering the private sector to create jobs and wealth by working closely with industry and academia to equip young professionals with the skills required to operate competitively in the sector.”

While speaking with The Borgen Project, Heath mirrored the views of President Akufo-Addo, that Ghana needs to establish a means of domestically manufactured income in order to take care of its own and step out from beneath the shadow of colonialism. Heath was enthusiastic in his hope that this would eventually become a reality. His many interactions with emphatic Ghanaians whose love for their way of life give him hope for the future. “[As a foreigner] everyone you meet asks if you liked their country. They want you to appreciate their culture. They want you to see the beauty as they do.” There is much to appreciate about Ghana if the media chooses to shine a light on it.

– Zach Farrin
Photo: Flickr

Ghana Eradicated Trachoma, a Disease That Left Millions Blind
On June 13, 2018 the World Health Organization (WHO) confirmed that trachoma, an infectious and painful disease of the eye that may potentially lead to blindness, is no longer a public health concern in Ghana.

Trachoma and Ghana

Ghana sits on West Africa’s Gulf of Guinea and is a home to 28 million people — 2.8 (or 15 percent) of which were at risk of trachoma in 2000. The WHO attributes the success to a collective effort between local and regional communities and international collaboration.

Trachoma is caused by Chlamydia bacterium and is spread by flies, a lack of sanitation and lack of access to clean water. When a person has the disease, the inside of the eyelids become scarred and curl inwards, causing the lashes to scrape against the lens of the eye, eventually destroying it if left untreated.

The disease was once common in the west, but has since been reduced to areas of the world where people do not have the resources to fend off the disease, usually attacking the world’s poor and leaving them unable to properly carry out their daily tasks.

Trachoma of the Past, Present and Future

Often described as a sensation of “thorns” in the eyes, trachoma is an extremely uncomfortable and serious disease. The disease is ancient, and dates as far back as the time of the pharaohs and ancient Greeks and Romans. Even prominent figures across ancient history such as St. Paul, Cicero, Horace and Galileo were believed to have suffered from the disease.

In 2000, the Ministry of Health and Ghana Health Service put in place a national Trachoma Elimination Program. This program involved putting the Surgery for Trichiasis, Antibiotics to Ward Off Infection (SAFE) strategy into action.

Surgery for trichiasis, the condition in which the eyelashes grow inward, was provided free of charge for more than 6,000 patients, and the pharmaceutical company Pfizer donated 3.3 million doses of Zithromax antibiotics to help avoid infection.

Pfizer also has plans to continue to donate Zithromax globally to help other trachoma-endemic countries. The importance of hygiene and facial cleanliness was promoted throughout the community during events, school health education and radio messages — while Ghana’s Community Water and Sanitation Agency worked towards environmental improvements.

Number Seven, Ghana

Ghana is the seventh country to have officially wiped out the disease, along with Oman, Morocco, Mexico, Cambodia, Laos and Nepal — and it is the only sub-saharan African country to have done so. In spite of this brilliant success, up to 200 million people are still at risk of contracting trachoma in 41 countries, many of which are on the African continent.

Experts are hopeful for the future eradication of the disease considering the ways in which Ghana eradicated trachoma. WHO Director-General Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus expressed his optimism saying, “Although there’s more work to do elsewhere, the validation of elimination in Ghana allows another previously heavily-endemic country to celebrate significant success.”

– Camille Wilson

Photo: Flickr

disease in Ghana
The continent of Africa has many countries that have struggled for decades with deadly diseases. High poverty rates and little access to clean water have made it difficult for people to stop the spread of these diseases or access vaccinations.

In sub-Saharan Africa, one in 11 children dies before the age of five because of diseases like pneumonia and malaria. Ghana is one country that is fighting for access to vaccinations. The hope is to someday eradicate disease in Ghana, and with the help of many organizations, Ghana is proving that this can be possible.

Although Africa is considered the poorest continent on Earth, Ghana’s poverty rate was cut in half from 1991 to 2012. This growth has paved the way for better access to extremely important healthcare and vaccinations for men, women and children.

Introduction of New Vaccines Lessens Threat of Disease in Ghana

In 2012, Ghana became the first African country to make the pneumococcal and rotavirus vaccines available. This is a giant step, as these vaccines will protect against two of the biggest killers in Ghana, pneumonia and diarrhea. UNICEF, along with Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, have worked alongside and supported the Ghana Health Service in this launch, which made these vaccinations available in every health clinic in the country.

Although it is unusual to make two vaccines available simultaneously, the country has recognized the dire need for these treatments. Pneumonia is the deadliest disease in Africa and the leading cause of death of children on the continent. The sickness claims nearly 800,000 lives each year.

Ghana One of Three Countries to Test Malaria Vaccine

Along with being the first country in Africa to launch the aforementioned vaccines, Ghana will once again be making history later in 2018. The World Health Organization has selected Ghana, along with Kenya and Malawi, to be the testing sites for the world’s first malaria vaccine pilot. With about half of the world’s population at risk for this disease, this vaccine, along with the means of prevention that are already used, could save hundreds of thousands of lives.

In 2015 alone, there were nearly 215 million cases of malaria around the world. The malaria pilot program is being funded by Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, the World Health Organization and many others. The first stage will cost nearly $50 million, but with the thousands of lives this vaccine could save, money is no object.

The fight to eradicate disease in Ghana is seeing incredible progress. Ghana is becoming a country that everyone, not just in Africa but all over the world, can look to when it comes to providing the healthcare and medications that so many are in need of.

Long known as a country that has struggled with poverty and a lack of resources, Ghana has shown that it is possible for any country to treat and prevent diseases on a national level. Ghana has and will continue to make these huge changes for its people.

– Allisa Rumreich
Photo: Flickr

Girls’ Education in GhanaThere are many barriers to equality in education in Ghana ranging from poverty to negative cultural perceptions surrounding girls’ education, to a lack of nearby schools. But despite these barriers, girls’ education in Ghana has seen improvement and continues to be an issue of importance in this developing nation. Here are five facts about girls’ education in Ghana that highlight victories and steps taken to fight this problem.

Five Facts About Girls’ Education in Ghana

  1. The positive changes in girls’ education in Ghana stem from governmental and nonprofit agencies working together. For example, in 1997, the government of Ghana created the Girls’ Education Unit in the Ministry of Education, which means every region and district has a Girls’ Education Officer. The Ministry of Education also partnered with UNICEF to develop and implement education strategies for girls.Furthermore, the Global Partnership for Education (GPE) worked in Ghana from 2012-2016 in a joint effort with the Ministry of Education and UNICEF. This partnership saw real results, including that 889 district gender officers received training in guidance and counseling, 94,827 in-service teachers were trained and 28,056 teachers received math education and training.
  2. Since the early 2000s, girls have consistently enrolled in primary and secondary school at higher rates and closed the gender gap in school enrollment. In 2018, Ghana’s national primary gender parity index (GPI) is at 1.01 compared to 0.94 in 2004. This demonstrates an equality between girls and boys enrolled in school.This change was sparked when the Ministry of Education eliminated school fees for basic education (elementary and junior high school) nationwide in 2005 and established a capitation grant for all basic schools. The grant also effectively reduced the barrier that poverty presented to education.
  3. The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) has greatly impacted girls’ education in Ghana. For example, USAID has provided scholarships for 7,000 girls in Ghana and 300 of the recipients have special needs and has aided in school construction and rehabilitation in 48 districts across the country.This was made possible through community programs that train volunteers to teach in high-need schools and partnerships with the Ministry of Education and the Ghana Education Service. Currently, USAID’s education objective in Ghana is to improve reading performance for 2.8 million Ghanaian primary school children by 2020.
  4. The Education Strategic Plan (ESP) 2018-2030 is currently being finalized by the government of Ghana and is focused on an inclusive education system that is accessible and equal for all. Its main goal is to use education to improve the national development agenda and make sure it has a positive impact on development.This is the sixth plan in the series and gets its foundation from the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), Sustainable Development Goals and the National Development Plan 2016-2057. Other important priorities of the newest ESP include access, quality, relevance, effectiveness and sustainability.
  5. In September 2017, Ghanaian President Nana Akufo-Addo made secondary education free for children in Ghana. This measure was much needed as only 37 percent of students were taking part in secondary school in 2014. The president’s promise removed admission fees, library fees, computer lab fees, examination fees and utility fees and included free textbooks, meals and boarding.

While it is still challenging for poor and rural families to attend school, these efforts to improve access to girls’ education in Ghana have been steps in the right direction.

– Alexandra Eppenauer
Photo: Flickr

Economic Development In Ghana Can Help Fight Extreme PoverAccording to the World Bank, Ghana has not been a low-income country since 2011; in fact, it has been upgraded to a middle-income one. For reference, the World Bank study defines low-income countries as those with average gross national incomes (GNIs) of less than $1,005 per person per year.

Conversely, middle-income countries are those with per capita GNIs of between $1,006 and $3,975 per year, while upper-middle-income countries are those with per capita GNIs between $3,976 and $12,275. Fortunately, the number of countries listed as low-income has declined to 35 from 63 in 2000.

Economic Development in Ghana

Economic development in Ghana is the key factor for its upgrading to a middle-income country. Ghana’s economy is the second biggest in West Africa and strong exports of cocoa, gold and oil constitute the main pillars of Ghana’s economy.

The combination of successful sectors like gold and cocoa exports and the launch of crude oil production in 2011 boosted Ghana’s GDP growth to 15 percent in 2011 and 7.9 percent in 2012. Revenue from the oil and gas sector amounted to $846 million in 2013. In 2011 and 2012, revenues reached $444 million and $541 million respectively. The vast majority of this success stems from a project called Jubilee oil field.

Economic development in Ghana is also furthered by a stable political system. Ghana has a long history of political stability and trust in democracy with a long string of free elections and turnover in terms of governing political parties.

Problems in Ghana’s Economy

Although the country is experiencing rapid growth, Ghana is also burdened by a large fiscal deficit and a large balance of payments deficit. The fiscal deficit jumped to 11.5 percent of GDP in 2012 as a consequence of the government’s increased spending on public sector wages and subsidies, while public debt level rose to 56 percent of GDP in 2012, up from 33 percent of GDP in 2008.

Economic development in Ghana, however, has certainly helped to increase the per capita incomes. The percentage of people living in poverty has, in fact, declined to less than 30 percent.

Poverty in Ghana

But Ghana’s relative poverty is still an issue. About 52 percent of Ghanaians live on less than $2 a day and another 27 percent live on between $2 and $4. The emerging middle class, on the other hand, which represents one in five Ghanaians, has a per capita daily consumption of between $4 and $20. The steady rise of a middle class in Ghana represents good news, especially considering the social and political stability that makes Ghana an exception in the African continent.

An accurate combination of safe monetary policy, higher oil production and controlled expenditures are likely to boost government revenues, which, with declining inflation and interest rates, will boost economic activity and facilitate the reduction of extreme poverty in Ghana.

– Luca Di Fabio
Photo: Google

franchising to fight povertyThe concept of franchising is not new. But for most people, the word “franchising” only brings up images of fast food restaurants. This is not a surprise; food giants like McDonald’s remind consumers of how impactful franchising can be. But the impact of franchising stretches beyond the food industry. Franchising has worked for countless industries, ranging from pet supplies to hair salons.

With the benefits that franchising provides, it is not hard to see why. The training and resources that franchisors offer make starting a business much easier. A complete business model helps offset the risk of failure. For many, this makes the dream of entrepreneurship a reality.

In the developing world, franchising can be a powerful force as well. The business systems that franchising provides are a framework for success. With more citizens owning businesses, empowerment is inevitable. For these three businesses, the usefulness of franchising to fight poverty is clear.

Jibu Uses Franchising to Fight Poverty

In Kenya, Rwanda and Uganda, Jibu uses franchising to increase water access. The company establishes storefronts in communities that lack adequate clean water. The storefronts use filtration to produce and provide water to those that need it.

In addition, the stores provide a path to entrepreneurship. Franchisees start off with a micro-franchise business. These businesses distribute (but do not produce) clean water. This allows the franchisee to become accustomed to running the business.

Throughout the process, Jibu provides training and support. If successful, a full franchise with on-site filtration is set up. Franchise owners can then produce and distribute clean water. Despite the greater effort, allowing business owners to become accustomed to running a store is a key part of its strategy. And since the average Jibu business owner breaks even in three months, the effort is worth it. With the Jibu model, using franchising to fight poverty is a reality.

Fan Milk Limited

The model of franchising in developing nations is not new to Fan Milk Limited. Established more than 50 years ago, this company sells ice cream products in Ghana.

Business owners set out on a bike each day and distribute product throughout the country. The vendors bike to a central depot to pick up the product. After this, they bike around various routes in their region to sell the ice cream treats.

In the case of Fan Milk Limited, biking is profitable. With this business, the average franchisee breaks even in about two weeks. This provides a lifestyle benefit, as well as a clear use of franchising to fight poverty.

Like Jibu, the franchisee can expand. Vendors can fund their own depots with greater investment. This provides a host of opportunity for Fan Milk Limited business owners.

Mr. Bigg’s

In the case of Mr. Bigg’s, the benefit provided by franchising is less direct. This Nigerian fast food chain, owned by UAC Restaurants, is a favorite in the country. With the franchising model, this company has managed to expand to more than 150 locations.

The effects of Mr. Bigg’s are far-reaching. The franchised restaurants provide meaningful employment to 6,000 Nigerians. Having income helps to lift Nigerians out of poverty and improves their quality of life.

On top of this, the restaurant owners receive extensive training to help them succeed. These tools aim to ensure that the businesses thrive. The average Mr. Bigg’s restaurant owner breaks even between 24 and 30 months after opening. And when businesses succeed, the country as a whole does, too. With its model, Mr. Bigg’s uses franchising to fight poverty.

Whether with water, ice cream or fast food, franchising brings results. Franchising implements a system of support that helps business owners find success. In developing nations, this concept can drive concrete change. Jibu, Fan Milk Limited and Mr. Bigg’s show exactly that. For these companies, franchising is more than smart business. It is the right thing to do.

– Robert Stephen

Photo: Google