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Supporting Ghanaian micro-entrepreneurships: the role of mobile technology

Emmanuel Mensah Asiedu (Oxford Brookes Business School, Oxford Brookes University, Oxford, UK)
Susan Shortland (Westminster Business School, University of Westminster, London, UK)
Yehia Sabri Nawar (Claude Littner Business School, University of West London, London, UK)
Paul J. Jackson (Oxford Brookes Business School, Oxford Brookes University, Oxford, UK)
Laura Baker (University of Southampton, Southampton, UK)

Journal of Entrepreneurship in Emerging Economies

ISSN: 2053-4604

Article publication date: 15 November 2018

Issue publication date: 21 August 2019

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explore the role of mobile technology and related service platforms in supporting informal micro-entrepreneurships in rural Ghana. It aims to extend our knowledge through the development of a conceptual model.

Design/methodology/approach

A qualitative research design used in-depth semi-structured interviews with five micro-entrepreneurship owners in the Kwahu South District in the Eastern region of Ghana. Identification of potential case firms was facilitated by a local official. Interview data were analysed thematically.

Findings

Mobile technology engendered pride and emotional connectedness and, being easy to use, helped to increase business confidence. Adoption advantages included improved communications with customers and business partners, and effective stock control, providing competitive advantage. Further understanding of mobile technology’s role in improving business processes is needed.

Research limitations/implications

This exploratory research is based on five micro-entrepreneurships in one Ghanaian rural area. Further research is needed using larger samples, additional locations and sectors and larger businesses, to identify other factors influencing mobile technology adoption and associated benefits and problems.

Practical implications

Government policy supporting growth of informal micro-entrepreneurships using mobile phone technology could increase economic advantage. Micro-business owners need education and training in understanding business processes. Telecommunications companies can highlight technological, business and socio-cultural benefits of mobile phone adoption in rural Ghana.

Originality/value

The paper draws upon the experiences of a range of rural-based Ghanaian micro-entrepreneurships to propose a model setting out and linking the technical, business and socio-cultural benefits of mobile phone adoption in supporting business processes.

Keywords

Citation

Asiedu, E.M., Shortland, S., Nawar, Y.S., Jackson, P.J. and Baker, L. (2019), "Supporting Ghanaian micro-entrepreneurships: the role of mobile technology", Journal of Entrepreneurship in Emerging Economies, Vol. 11 No. 3, pp. 306-327. https://doi.org/10.1108/JEEE-05-2018-0046

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2018, Emerald Publishing Limited