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Keywords:

  • microenterprise;
  • MSE;
  • ICT4D;
  • mobile;
  • cellular;
  • market information

Abstract

The paper offers a systematic review of 14 studies of the use of mobile telephony by micro and small enterprises (MSEs) in the developing world, detailing findings about changes to enterprises' internal processes and external relationships, and findings about mobile use vs. traditional landline use. Results suggest that there is currently more evidence for the benefits of mobile use accruing mostly (but not exclusively) to existing MSEs rather than new MSEs, in ways that amplify existing material and informational flows rather than transform them. The review presents a more complete picture of mobile use by MSEs than was previously available, and identifies priorities for future research, including comparisons of the impact of mobile use across subsectors of MSEs and extensions beyond studies of existing enterprises. Copyright © 2010 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.