Tracking constraints to micro-entrepreneurship using IVR technology: Results from a pilot study in Kenya and Uganda

Policy brief Firms

  • Current data collection exercises fail to capture the heterogeneity of entrepreneurs in developing countries in terms of scale.
  • This project proposes a research agenda around understanding the constraints faced by micro-entrepreneurs, both formal and informal, through a series of mobile-based surveys (using IVR technology) delivered to small firms and micro-entrepreneurs in developing countries.
  • In this study, pilot surveys were conducted with a small sample of firms in Kenya and Uganda to assess both the performance and cost-effectiveness of mobile-based surveys.
  • Several discrepancies emerge when these findings are compared to findings from existing data sets, motivating greater attention to constraints faced by smaller firms in developing economies.
  • The use of mobile technology-enabled shorter surveys, larger sample sizes and better survey completion rates, thus contributing to overall high cost-effectiveness for the project.