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A review of the research on mobile use by micro and small enterprises (MSEs)

Jonathan Donner and Marcela Escobari


The paper offers a systematic review of 14 studies of the use of mobile telephony by micro and small enterprises (MSEs) in the developing world, detailing findings about changes to enterprises’ internal processes and external relationships, and findings about mobile use vs. traditional landline use. Results suggest that there is currently more evidence for the benefits of mobile use accruing mostly (but not exclusively) to existing MSEs rather than new MSEs, in ways that amplify existing material and informational flows rather than transform them. The review presents a more complete picture of mobile use by MSEs than was previously available to ICTD researchers, and indentifies priorities for future research, including comparisons of the impact of mobile use across subsectors of MSEs and assessments of use of advanced services such as mobile banking and mobile commerce.


Publication typeProceedings
Published inProceedings of the 3rd ACM/IEEE International Conference on Information and Communication Technologies and Development

Newer versions

Jonathan Donner and Marcela X Escobari. A review of evidence on mobile use by micro and small enterprises in developing countries, Journal of International Development, John Wiley & Sons, 30 June 2010.

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