The dynamics of entrepreneurship in ICT: Case of mobile phones downstream services in Kenya

Raphael Ngatia Kanothi

Research output: Working paperAcademic

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Abstract

The research paper explores the extent to which mobile phones downstream
services, defined here as those provided using the existing connectivity, are
generating opportunities for entrepreneurship development in Kenya. After
identifying the services of mobile payphones, money transfer and phone repair,
the paper analyses the micro-enterprises providing them and their contribution
to income and employment creation. It shows that majority of the enterprises
providing the services are survivalists and they are characterised by minimal
barriers to entry and therefore stiff competition. Those in growth-oriented
category are characterised by barriers to entry and specialisation. These
enterprises have made a notable contribution to the concerned households and
the economy in form of employment opportunities, income generation and
linkage with other sectors. They directly supported over 25,000 households in
addition to the extra staff employed in them. Across the board the incomes of
the operators improved after engaging in the enterprises. The enterprises also
created opportunities for women, youth, people with disabilities and those with
low or no education. To the economy, payphones have contributed to
increasing the mobile phones coverage to 75% of the country; money transfer
services have provided cheaper financial transactions and means of sending
emergency funds; while repair services have enabled low income earners to
remain connected even when they could not afford to buy new phones. The
paper therefore concludes that mobile phones downstream services have
generated entrepreneurial opportunities to many as well as contributing
positively to the goal of fighting poverty.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationDen Haag
PublisherInternational Institute of Social Studies (ISS)
Number of pages76
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2009
Externally publishedYes

Publication series

SeriesISS working papers. General series
Number466
ISSN0921-0210

Series

  • ISS Working Paper-General Series

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