Mobile Value Added Services and Micro Enterprises: Industry Challenges and Policy Barriers in a Small Pacific Island Country
26 Pages Posted: 19 Mar 2014
Date Written: 2014
Worldwide, mobile phones are rapidly changing the approach and strategies for micro, small and large businesses alike. Yet, little remains known about policy and infrastructure constraints that might impede their use for growth of businesses, especially in the case of microenterprises in developing economies. We address this gap in the literature. Focusing on a small Pacific island economy, we survey 74 women enterprises via semi-structured interviews and a number of key stakeholders spanning the government, mobile network and financial institution sectors to understand both demand and supply perspectives. Appropriate policy framework, supporting infrastructure and adequate ecosystems are required for rapid uptake of mobile value added services by women owned micro enterprises in Fiji. A significant number of women micro entrepreneurs are willing to embrace mobile value added services if these were made available with adequate security and at reasonable cost.
Keywords: mobile value added services, Fiji, policy barriers, industry challenges, micro-entrepreneurs
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