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Nudging small and medium-sized enterprises in Ghana to adopt digital technologies: experiments promoting inclusive innovation

Small and medium enterprises (SMEs) have been identified as an important catalyst to economic growth and social transformation in Africa. However, the SME sector lags in technology adoption and digital transition, and little is known about how inclusive innovation can be promoted. Concerningly, recent studies on technology adoption in Africa show very low adoption of basic technologies.

This project, led by the University of Ghana, implements a randomized field experiment in Ghana to identify the effects of training to support and increase the adoption of digital technologies in the day-to-day operations of small and medium-sized enterprises. The training involves bi-weekly one-on-one digital skills training, after which the entrepreneur will sign a commitment letter to adopt digital technologies in their businesses. The team will study the effects of this intervention on the adoption of technology, changes in business practices and productivity, sales, profits and employment. Throughout, the team will examine the gender dimensions of technology adoption and entrepreneurial growth with a view to informing how innovation agencies might promote inclusive innovation.

The findings will be highlighted at academic conferences and Ghanaian agencies promoting digital transformation in the SME sector will contribute to the research process and dissemination events.

This project was awarded a Stage 2 grant through the 2020 Evidence for Innovation open competition.

Project ID
Project Status
36 months
IDRC Officer
David O'Brien
Total Funding
CA$ 516,500.00
Institution Country
University of Ghana

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