Geoffrey Wandeto Mwangi
Safaricom Ltd., Nairobi, Kenya
Freddie R. Acosta
Strathmore Business School, Nairobi, Kenya
Year: July 2013
Volume: 23 No. 1
The study aimed at establishing the impacts of mobile phones usage on the growth of microenterprises. The study focused on mobile phones (and not telephony or telecommunications in general) because of the speedy adoption and widespread usage of mobile phones witnessed in Kenya over the last 10 years. The objectives of the study were based on three indicators of business growth, that is, income, profitability (cost management), and customer base. The study adopted a descriptive design method since it aimed at discovering and describing if a relationship exists between the variables. The study purposively sampled 100 microenterprises from Safaricom’s Zidisha Biashara programme. Due to the near ubiquitous nature of mobile phones in Kenya, non-users were not studied. Structured questionnaires were used for collecting data. They were administered using both manual and online methods. Data analysis was carried out using descriptive and inference statistics.
In the findings of the study, a majority (91.3%) of the respondents agreed that the use of mobile phones led to increase in business income, profitability, and customer base. The study concluded that, holding other growth factors constant, the use of mobile phones has a significant influence on the growth of microenterprises.
The study recommended that promoters of microenterprises should incorporate the features and capabilities of the mobile phone as part of the tools they provide to support microenterprises. It also recommended that owners and managers of microenterprises should incorporate a mobile phone strategy in their operations and explore innovative ways of using it as a driver for growth. A final recommendation was made to the ICT community to develop mobile applications to support microenterprises in areas such as mobile advertising, mobile payment platforms, and customer relationship management.