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Digital technologies in micro and small enterprise: evidence from Uganda's informal sector during the COVID-19 pandemic

Saadat Nakyejwe Lubowa Kimuli (Department of Entrepreneurship, Makerere University Business School, Kampala, Uganda)
Kasimu Sendawula (Marketing and Management, Makerere University, Kampala, Uganda)
Shakilah Nagujja (Department of Business Administration, Makerere University Business School, Kampala, Uganda)

World Journal of Science, Technology and Sustainable Development

ISSN: 2042-5945

Article publication date: 30 March 2021

Issue publication date: 7 May 2021

664

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of the study was to explore the intention of micro and small enterprises’ (MSEs) owners to adopt digital technologies as a strategy to catalyze sustainable growth of Uganda's economy.

Design/methodology/approach

This study adopted a qualitative, multi-case design. The unit of inquiry consisted of business owners operating in St. Balikuddembe Market, Kampala, Uganda. They were interrogated to explore their intention to adopt digital technologies during the total lockdown as a strategy to sustainably operate their businesses.

Findings

A total of four major themes emerged from the data analysis process and these are the impact of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) on business operations, awareness of digital technologies, usage of digital technologies and intention to use more digital technologies.

Practical implications

The findings of the study shed light on what policymakers, digital service providers and business owners can do to improve uptake of digital technologies among MSEs in Uganda.

Originality/value

This study contributes to the extant literature on digital technologies in MSEs using evidence from Uganda's informal sector. The results of the study may catalyze uptake of digital technologies as policymakers and digital service providers will devise appropriate strategies that will enable business owners to integrate these technologies into their business operations.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

The authors thank Makerere University Research and Innovation Fund with support from the Government of Uganda for funding a project from which this paper was extracted. They also extend their thanks to the anonymous reviewer.

Citation

Kimuli, S.N.L., Sendawula, K. and Nagujja, S. (2021), "Digital technologies in micro and small enterprise: evidence from Uganda's informal sector during the COVID-19 pandemic", World Journal of Science, Technology and Sustainable Development, Vol. 18 No. 2, pp. 93-108. https://doi.org/10.1108/WJSTSD-02-2021-0017

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2021, Emerald Publishing Limited

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