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.
Asiedu, Emmanuel MensahShortland, SusanNawar, YehiaJackson, PaulBaker, Laura
Oxford Brookes Business School\Oxford Brookes Business School\Department of Accounting, Finance and Economics