The Mauritius Research Council (MRC) has proposed a Model of Technology Adoption (MTA) for Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) after an assessment of the level of technology acceptance by SMEs in the country.
During a seminar at the at Ebène Heights in Ebène Cyber-city findings of a research, initiated by the MRC under its Unsolicited Research and Innovation Grant Scheme, were presented by the project team. Discussions were conducted by resource persons from the University of Mauritius.
The research project made efforts to identify the various SMEs and cluster them based on specific criteria. A survey was carried out among SMEs in the Handicraft and the Food sectors to investigate the factors that impact on SMEs’ awareness, acceptance and usage of technology.
Survey findings were analysed and a model of technology adoption (MTA) was proposed. Moreover, recommendations have been made to aid policymakers to provide assistance to SMEs with regard to technology acceptance and usage.
General recommendations comprise: structuring of data captured and stored at the Small and Medium Enterprises Development Authority (SMEDA); developing targeted training programmes; and, designing specific technology-related incentives.
As regards MTA, recommendations made relate to using the model to define future ICT training needs for SMEs; validating the MTA and utilising it to devise policies for SMEs; and, evaluating the MTA on the African continent and among Small Island Developing States.
In Mauritius, SMEs have the potential to contribute significantly to economic growth. However, they face both internal and external challenges such as limited local market and fierce competitions from emerging markets.
Previous research has shown that technology can meaningfully contribute to the efficiency of SMEs, but in Mauritius the SMEDA has observed that technology usage among SMEs is low despite training being provided.