Ghana’s SEC and UNCDF launch investment-based crowdfunding guidelines

Rev. Daniel Ogbarmey Tetteh, Director-General of Securities and Exchanges Commission, Ghana (left) and Arianna Gasparri, Technical Lead at UNCDF (right)

The Securities and Exchange Commission of Ghana (SEC) and the UN Capital Development Fund (UNCDF) have launched set of comprehensive guidelines for equity or investment-based crowdfunding in Ghana.

The guidelines, developed in collaboration with key stakeholders and following extensive consultations and technical assistance support of Lelapa African FinTech Advisory, mark a significant milestone in Ghana’s financial and investment landscape.

The guidelines are designed to unlock the potential of crowdfunding as a viable financing option for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) and startups in the country while ensuring investors’ protection, providing a regulatory framework and addressing critical gaps that have hindered the growth of the entrepreneurial community.

Director-General of the SEC, Rev. Daniel Ogbamey Tetteh highlighted the significance of the guidelines to the capital market saying that, “in Ghana, we have witnessed the transformative power of crowdfunding in various sectors. From agriculture to healthcare, entrepreneurs have harnessed the collective strength of the crowd to bring their ideas to life.”

He, however, noted that that the absence of a clear regulatory framework has limited the full potential of this innovative financing model, adding that the guidelines were specifically and strategically designed to change that.

“They provide a robust framework that protects investors, ensures transparency, and fosters trust in the crowdfunding ecosystem. By establishing clear rules and standards, we are creating an environment where both investors and fundraisers can thrive,” he stated.

UNCDF, with its unique investment mandate to crowd-in various flows of finance towards development initiatives, played a central role in driving the development of the guidelines.

Through the GrEEn Project, funded by the European Union Trust Fund for Africa-EUTF, UNCDF has been at the forefront of pioneering crowdfunding in Ghana, recognizing its potential to unlock investments for segments traditionally excluded from formal finance.

Technical Lead at UNCDF, Arianna Gasparri, remarked, “on behalf of UNCDF, we are very happy to have worked with SEC in contributing to the future of investments and innovative channels for supporting MSMEs in Ghana. UNCDF is indeed meant to work with government and government agencies to assist with the favorable conditions to crowd-in private capital”.

The guidelines encompass a wide range of entities, including crowdfunding intermediaries, companies seeking to raise funds, and foreign entities interested in operating crowdfunding platforms in Ghana. They prioritize investor protection while encouraging crowdfunding for social and environmental impact projects. The guidelines will boost innovation and safeguard investors by:

  1. Requiring crowdfunding platforms to provide clear and comprehensive information about investment risks and potential returns.
  2. Implementing a rigorous licensing process to vet crowdfunding platforms based on their business model, governance structure, and financial stability.
  3. Fostering collaboration between crowdfunding platforms, banks, MFIs, and investment funds to create a seamless financial ecosystem.

The launch of the guidelines has the potential to unlock significant growth opportunities and empower Ghanaian businesses by enhancing access to finance, promoting financial inclusion, and fostering sustainable finance practices. It also positions the country as a hub for innovation and investment in the digital age. UNCDF and SEC will continue to collaborate closely to ensure the effective implementation of the guidelines, ensuring that they translate into tangible benefits for entrepreneurs and investors alike.


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