Contributing small sums of money by a number of people to fund projects is more than a hundred years old practice in communities all over the world. The concept of crowdfunding is not a deviation from that idea but in the 20th century, it has been modified through the rise of digitisation and discovery of the internet.

Crowdfunding is simply the contribution of small sums of money by a large group of people to support a business venture or a charity work typically through the internet. In Ghana, crowdfunding contributions are not only via internet websites but also through mobile money wallets.

There are namely, four types of crowdfunding which are grouped under investment and non-investement models.

  • Investment Model:
  1. Equity Crowdfunding: Investors of a business start-up receive equity in the organization or a share in its revenue.
  2. Peer-to-peer lending/ Debt Crowdfunding: Debt crowdfunding, also known as Peer-to-peer lending, offers interest on loans advanced to its financiers or pay back loans when the project is successful.
  • Non-investment Model:
  1. Donation Crowdfunding: Donors of this type of crowdfunding are usually empathetic to the initiator’s campaign and willingly give to the cause.
  2. Reward Crowdfunding: Contributors of a campaign are given non-financial rewards such as priority access to a successfully launched service or product.

Recommended Approval/License Policy

The Bank of Ghana provides licensing approval for Donation and Reward Crowdfunding models as these models require the ability to collect, hold and disburse payments. These activities are fully covered by the banks and specialised deposit-taking institutions act, 2016(Act 930).

Additionally, Dedicated Electronic Money Issuers (DEMIs) can also provide these services under their license as defined in the Payment Systems and Settlement Act, 2019(Act 987). Except, the funds collected will reside in a wallet with the transaction limits applying. In order to protect consumers and ensure transparency, merchant wallets must be created and dedicated for the collection of donations. Thus, the new merchant account categories and their corresponding minimum due diligence requirements stated in NOTICE NO. BG/GOV/SEC/202/15 will have to apply.

Enhanced Payment Service Providers (EPSPs), also under the permissions of Act 987 are able to perform the crediting and debiting functions under this type of crowdfunding model, but will need the support of a bank or specialized deposit taking institution to fully deliver the service. Thus, the Bank can require EPSPs to partner with a bank or SDI in order to secure approval to provide donation based crowdfunding in Ghana.

Equity and Debt models on the other hand involve the investment of funds. Investment is not within the permissible activities of any institution licensed under Act 987. Thus, any entity in that category would have to partner with another entity that is duly regulated under the Securities Industry Act, 2016, Act 929, (3) in order to seek approval. Equity and Debt crowdfunding would therefore also require the approval of SEC to operate.

Below is the table displaying the licensing requirement for crowdfunding models in Ghana:

Licence Approval
Regulatory Body
• Donation /Reward
Ability to collect, hold and disburse funds.
Enhanced PSP and DEMI in partnership with a bank and SDI
Bank of Ghana
• Equity
Ability to collect and invest funds.
Banks, SDIs, Enhanced PSPs and DEMIs in partnership with SEC approved entity.
Bank of Ghana, Securities and Exchange Commission
• Debt
Ability to collect and invest funds.
Banks, SDIs and Enhanced PSP and DEMI in partnership with SEC approved entity.
Securities and Exchange Commission