International Journal of Business and Social Science

ISSN 2219-1933 (Print), 2219-6021 (Online) DOI: 10.30845/ijbss

The Adoption of Information and Communication Technology by Small Enterprises in Thika Municipality, Kenya
Samuel Obino Mokaya

Information and communications technology (ICT) has assumed a critical role in facilitating socio-economic development in many countries. The contribution of ICT to enterprise development has been recognized and many countries including Kenya have made deliberate efforts in integrating ICT into small enterprise (SE) development agenda. However, the adoption and use of ICT by small enterprises has been below expectations. The study sought to determine factors affecting the adoption and use of ICT by small enterprises Kenya. The study was conducted through a survey questionnaire covering a stratified sample of 78 respondents drawn from 390 SEs in Thika Municipality. Both qualitative and quantitative methods were used to analyze data. Chi-square tests were conducted to establish the relationship between variables under study. The study revealed that most SEs use basic communication tools such as cell phone; text and voice (75%), and internet (34.6%). Adoption and use of ICT tools has not been well embraced by SEs. Most small enterprises operate on hand-to-mouth financial existence and therefore, have a weak financial capacity. The results indicate a statistically significant relationship between financial capacity and ICT adoption with a chi-square value of 7.890 at 0.049 significance level. Small enterprise operators perceive the cost of ICT to be very high, with a negative effect on adoption. Communication infrastructure was also found to have a significant effect on adoption with a chi-square value of 21.65 at 0.001 significance level. The level of education and knowledge has significant effect on adoption having a test value of 16.063 at 0.013 significance level. The study concludes that ICT has not been well embraced by SEs in Kenya. All the variables under study have a statistically significant effect on ICT adoption. The Government of Kenya should develop an appropriate programme to encourage ICT adoption by SEs, eliminate all taxes on ICT, establish a special fund to support ICT adoption; support training programmes to develop the capacity of SEs to embrace ICT; invest in appropriate communication infrastructure for SEs, and the SE Federation should institute deliberate efforts to encourage SEs to invest in basic ICT tools to help improve their business and make them more competitive. Such efforts could include establishment of a special fund to fiancé ICT adoption by SEs.

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