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Reference no. 1-15-007
Subject category: Entrepreneurship
Published by:
The Legatum Center for Development and Entrepreneurship at MIT (2015)
22 May 2015
23 pages
Data source:
Field research


Abstract: LaGray Chemical Company was established in Ghana by chemists Dr Alexandra Graham and Dr Paul Lartey. Living and working in the United States, they had two long-term goals: (1) to return to Ghana and found a pharmaceutical manufacturing company that would provide the people of Africa with affordable drugs, and (2) to give the people of Ghana and other African countries skills that would allow them to be more self-sufficient in drug manufacturing. It examines the problems they faced in establishing a sophisticated manufacturing process in an ecology that is not necessarily conducive to it. It also looks at the possibility they may have pursued pharmaceuticals because of their backgrounds without necessarily exploring possibly better entrepreneurial opportunities in West Africa. The case describes the challenges Graham and Lartey faced in getting drug approval, retaining young employees, and dealing with infrastructure issues, as well as their difficulties in obtaining financing and the conflict between the goals of their funders and themselves.



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