Entrepreneurship is crucial for
economic development around the world. In places such as Nigeria,
Egypt, and Indonesia, micro-entrepreneurs generate 38 percent of the
gross domestic product. Analysis of time-series data demonstrates
that small businesses create a disproportionate share of new jobs.
They generate new ideas, new business models, and new ways of selling
goods and services. Mobile devices represent a way for entrepreneurs
to overcome the challenges of doing business.
Mobile phones help people communicate
with one another, access market information, sell products across
geographic areas, reach new consumers, enter mobile payment systems,
and empower women and the disadvantaged. A report from the United
Nations Conference on Trade and Development found that “ICT
infrastructure is an increasingly vital determinant of the overall
investment climate of a country”. Furthermore, researchers have
found that each “one percent increase in mobile penetration is
associated with 0.5-0.6 rate of FDI/GDP”.
In this report, Darrell West discusses
how mobile entrepreneurship improves the opportunities for social and
economic development around the world. As part of Mobile Economy
Project, West analyzes the importance of wireless technology for
entrepreneurship, how mobile improves access to capital and market
information, how it helps entrepreneurs serve broader geographic
areas and reach new customers, the manner in which it empowers women
and the disadvantaged, and the way mobile payments stimulate economic
development. He concludes by outlining the steps we need to take to
overcome current barriers to m-entrepreneurship.
West offers policy recommendations that
outline the steps needed to overcome current barriers to
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