Academic journal article South Asian Journal of Management

An Assessment of the Influence of Technology and Innovation on Performance of Women Small Scale Entrepreneurs (SSEs) in Nairobi, Kenya †

Academic journal article South Asian Journal of Management

An Assessment of the Influence of Technology and Innovation on Performance of Women Small Scale Entrepreneurs (SSEs) in Nairobi, Kenya †

Article excerpt

(ProQuest: ... denotes formulae omitted.)

INTRODUCTION

Research acknowledges the importance of knowledge as an important asset to venture creation and success. Research also appreciates that knowledge also known as human capital is an agent of enterprise success. However, other agents of a business enterprise exist such as the aspect of venture capital espoused by Schumpeter (1934) (Becker, 1993) in the theory where the entrepreneur is considered as being an economist and the role that money plays in starting and sustaining an entrepreneurial venture. Mises (1959) puts emphasis in human action in entrepreneurship innovation (Bula, Tiagha, and Waiguchu, 2014),

A technological system consists of various components which have to exist in a combined interface (Carlsson and Elliasson, 2003). The synergy of all the components of technology such as the 'human capital', 'venture capital' and the 'actors' result in the formation of innovation. In this study, all the disjointed theories on technology and innovation have been considered in an endeavor to ascertain how women entrepreneurs conduct themselves to guarantee their businesses success (Bula, Tiagha, Waiguchu, 2014).

Current technological developments, such as adoption of information technology, seem to favor small-scale production through affordable goods, reduced minimum costs for adjustable specialization (Loveman and Sengenberger, 1991). Developments in Information Technology (IT) have produced better access to information and communication devices that may assist small enterprises and increase the competitiveness of reputable small businesses (Audretsch and Thurik, 2001).

In Kenya, Government reports and statistics give emphasis to technological advancement as the huddle facing economic growth and propose transfer of technology from overseas investors to local investors and from large to small ventures through subcontracting dealings and joint undertakings (GOK, 2005). Technology transfer to SSEs improves the production volume because of the many SSEs, thus increasing the number of new products and service in the economy. With capacity exploitation and resource use, small enterprises continue to offer large firms a substitute for capacity boost, large firms turn to smaller ones to enhance supply in order to cushion the supply discrepancy. Smaller firms are also seen to guarantee proper utilization of resources to reduce wastages (CBS, 2004 and Bula, Tiagha and Waiguchu, 2013).

The focus of technology innovation was on the use of mobile telephony to enhance marketing and to keep an inventory of their customers and to enhance money transfers in their business operations and use of innovation research from clients or customers. This paper examined the technocrats who apply the technology created as other agents in technology and innovation. Technology and innovation is therefore a social aspect which involves many players.

STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM

Eighty (80%) percent SSEs in Kenya do not celebrate their 5th birthday. There are issues of women disempowerment making it hard for them to embrace T&I in marketing which translates to poor business performance. There is an empirical gap that this study sought to help fill. Some case studies indicate that innovations do impact organizational functions and thus performance while other studies seem to give divergent views on the effect of innovations and performance (Glor, 2014). This study therefore sought to establish if the women SSEs have embraced and adopted technology and innovation in their businesses and what impact the T&I have on the performance of their enterprises.

RESEARCH OBJECTIVES

The general objective of this study was to establish if there is a relationship between Technology and Innovation (T&I) and performance of the women owned and/or managed SSEs in Nairobi, Kenya.

The specific objectives are:

i. To establish if baseline characteristics of women SSEs in Nairobi significantly influence the performance of their business enterprises. …

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