Sources of business information and means of access used by SMEs in Uganda: the case of Northern Uganda
Minishi-Majanja, M. K.
Ikoja-Odongo, J. Robert
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This article is a result of part of the doctoral study Business Information Systems Design for Uganda’s Economic Development: The Case of SMEs in Northern Uganda. The study was conducted in 2005/06 to identify the sources of business information used by small- and medium-scale enterprises (SMEs), rate these sources according to their usefulness in meeting the information needs of SMEs, determine the means of access to business information, and propose appropriate sources and means of access to business information for consideration in the design of a business information system (BIS). It was assumed that northern Uganda is lagging behind because of a lack of appropriate strategies for empowering SMEs as an engine of economic growth, including using information as a catalyst for socio-economic transformation. Through the use of a descriptive design, the study identified and recommended the business information sources necessary for SMEs and the appropriate means that should be adopted in order for a BIS to enable SMEs in northern Uganda to access relevant business information. The article has six sections. Section one provides an introduction, an overview of SMEs in Uganda, and a situational analysis of Uganda’s economic development, especially northern Uganda. Section two covers a brief general literature review while section three delineates the methodology applied. Section four presents the findings that are discussed in section five. Strategic interventions are proposed in section six. To enable access to various business information sources using various means, one of the key recommendations is the adoption of Internet-based services with the integration of an interactive business planner, an online small business workshop, the business start-up assistant, info-guides, an e-mail service, and Talk to BIS services.
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