Having successfully established two African enterprises, both of which operate sustainably, Alive & Kicking intends to open a third ball-making factory in Accra, Ghana. The article below is taken from the introduction of a full Business Case for Making Balls in Accra, which Alive & Kicking is now using in a search for funding.
The complete business case outlines a production and sales strategy and takes into account the political, economic, social, technological, legal, environmental and charitable considerations of operating in Ghana. For a copy of the full document or if you are interested in supporting this project please get in touch.
A Business Case for Making Balls in Accra: Introduction
In Ghana, schools and NGOs face an identifiable shortage of sports balls due to the inability of the market to provide quality balls at affordable prices. Ghanaians also suffer from a lack of job opportunities which is a particular issue for the young and disabled. When combined, these two scarcities offer a marked opportunity for Alive & Kicking to make a significant social and economic impact in Ghana.
This document, which is based on the results of an in-country feasibility study, will present the case for a sustainable Ghanaian ball making enterprise. Excitingly, the business model for a Ghanaian operation will differ from A&K Kenya and Zambia, it will involve them both in its growth, and it could offer a new mode of expansion for the group in the future.
The Ghanaian modifications to Alive & Kicking’s model focus on the supply chain. In Kenya, Alive & Kicking enjoys local supply of leather from two competing tanneries, as well as local supply of plastic coating for the surface of the balls. In Zambia, the Zamleather tannery has been so supportive that Alive & Kicking works on its premises, rent free, and can be certain of a steady supply of materials. In Ghana, there is no modern tannery and this has initiated a new way of thinking on how Alive & Kicking can source the raw materials for balls. The strategy will initially involve importing panel sets from Alive & Kicking’s existing operations, whilst assistance is given to a local tannery so that they can meet Alive & Kicking’s requirements in the future.
On the market side of the business case for a Ghanaian stitching centre there are similarities with Alive & Kicking’s existing operations. As in Kenya and Zambia, balls in Ghana are expensive and are almost exclusively made of synthetic, which is inappropriate for use on rough ground. Furthermore, all the balls on the market are imported from the Far East and the majority are machine stitched. These aspects of the market give Alive & Kicking the opportunity to provide a better quality product, at a better price, with the added benefits of operating as a local social enterprise. Indeed, on testing the market with sample balls, the excitement of sports NGOs and retailers was tangible, and on hearing the projected price, the most common reaction was a display of impatient urgency for Alive & Kicking to get going in Ghana.
On the basis that a Ghanaian market for A&K’s balls exists, and that the cost structure involved in the manufacture of balls is manageable, Alive & Kicking is now searching for funding to start its first West African stitching centre which will provide 41 jobs in the manufacture of 25,000 balls a year.
For a full copy of the Business Case for Ghana, or if you are interested in supporting the project, please contact Alive & Kicking on 020 7630 7333 or enquiries[at]aliveandkicking.org.uk.