Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are the driving force of industrial development in virtually all countries. They shape the economic globalization process and play a leading role in creating employment, income and value added services as well as being the seedbed for developing and testing entrepreneurial talent.
The challenge in many developing countries is to combine the SMEs’ employment potential with increasing productivity. To prosper, SMEs need an environment that facilitates growth, including easy access to business information and ICT.
When used by small businesses, ICT can:
In most developing countries, however, the SME sector is suffering from inadequate ICT access. ICT penetration is low, expensive and ICT services are not provided in an integrated manner. Barriers to SMEs include: