There are approximately one thousand, eight hundred and fifty (1,850) registered business associations in Ghana. It is also common knowledge that a greater number of these associations are weak. In 2003, PEF conducted a survey of business associations and identified four critical challenges confronting them. According to the survey findings, associations are not valued by their members, are poorly funded, under resourced, have divergent and often conflicting views, as well as lack research and lobbying capacity.
Some independent studies have confirmed the present weaknesses of Ghanaian business associations. In a paper titled “Enhancing the Competitiveness of SME's Networking through Professional Associations", presented in March 2006 at an International Small Enterprise Promotion Training (SEPneT) workshop held in Tanzania, Ralph Nyadu-Addo of KNUST identified eight major challenges of Ghanaian business associations. These were: low membership, poor and vision less leadership, inefficient management and administration, inadequate finance, non-acceptance as full partners by Government, adverse policies of Government, conflict of Interest, and socio-cultural impediments.