ADOPTION AND USE OF INFORMATION AND COMMUNICATION TECHNOLOGY (ICT) BY SMALL ENTERPRISES IN THIKA TOWN, KENYA

  • S. O. Mokaya Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology
  • E. W. Njuguna Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology
Keywords: Information and communication technology, small enterprise, adoption and use, infrastructure, financial capacity, cost, knowledge level

Abstract

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 (SEs) Kenya. The study was
conducted through a survey questionnaire covering a stratified sample of 78 respondents drawn from 390 SEs
in Thika. Both qualitative and quantitative methods were used to analyze data. Chi-square tests were
conducted to establish the relationship between variables. Results indicated that most SEs use basic
communication tools such as mobile (75%), internet (34.6%). Adoption and use of ICT tools has not been well
embraced by SEs. Most SEs are characterized by weak financial capacity and hand-to-mouth financial
existence. The chi-square value was 7.890 with 0.049 significance level, indicating a statistically significant
relationship between financial capacity and ICT adoption and use. SE operators perceive the cost of ICT to be
very high, with a negative effect on adoption and use. Communication infrastructure was also found to have a
significant effect on adoption and use, having a chi-square value was 21.65 with a 0.001 significance level. The
level of knowledge and education also has significant effect on adoption and use having a chi-square test value
of 16.063 and a 0.013 significance level. The study concludes that adoption and use of ICT has not been well
embraced by SEs. All the variables under study have a statistically significant effect on ICT adoption and use. To
help improve ICT adoption and use by SEs in Kenya, the Government should develop an appropriate
programme to encourage ICT adoption and use 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 there should be deliberate efforts by Government to
encourage SEs to invest in basic ICT tools to help improve their business and make them more competitive.

Published
2019-05-15