The Limited Impact of ICTs on Microenterprise Growth: A Study of Businesses Owned by Women in Urban India

Han Ei Chew, Mark Levy, Vigneswara Ilavarasan


This article is presented as a response to the increasing need for rigorous impact assessment in ICT4D. The research reported here empirically examines whether ICTs enable microenterprise growth, to what degree, and under what conditions. We created two theoretical models that predict relationships between selected antecedents of ICT access, ICT use, and business growth. Using data collected through a multistage probability survey of women microentrepreneurs in Mumbai, India, we tested the models by structural equation modeling (SEM). Both models predicted a statistically significant, but limited causal relationship between access to ICTs (as the independent variable) and business growth (as the dependent variable). The theoretical model and the analytical techniques suggest that future research should pay greater attention to the specific factors that mediate the impact of ICTs on the growth of very small businesses.


ICT4D, impact, microenterprises, business growth, India

Full Text: