Data-driven learning and firm performance: Experimental evidence from SMEs in Kenya

Collection Active since Firms, Firm capabilities and SGB Evidence Fund

Many entrepreneurs in developing countries under-invest in collecting and learning from information such as sales and inventory records. In this project, a field experiment with small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in Kenya is carried out to understand if SMEs in developing countries are limited in what they learn from their business records and, therefore, under-invest in keeping records.

The experiment tests the effectiveness of a smartphone-based app designed to simplify inventory and sales management. The app allows users to record detailed sales transactions and place orders directly with suppliers. Select participants will receive advanced features such as analytical sales summaries and industry benchmarking. Using multiple rounds of surveys as well as back-end app data, the study will track whether the intervention (i) increases record keeping, (ii) leads to better learning and changes in business strategies, and (iii) results in improved business performance.