TECHNOLOGY ABSORPTION AND PERFORMANCE OF WOMEN OWNED MSES INCUBATED AT THE KENYA INDUSTRIAL RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT INSTITUTE
Purpose of the Study: The purpose of the study was to examine the role of technology absorption on performance of women owned MSEs which have been incubated at KIRDI.
Statement of the Problem: The Micro and Small Enterprises contribute significantly to all the countries globally through absorbing the unemployed in the various job opportunities created in various sectors. MSEs in Kenya created more than a half of the gross employment opportunities generated in 2015. Lately many startup companies are being developed daily, but only a few of them are able to survive and thrive to make profits.
Methodology: The study was a survey study design. The target population was 259 MSE women entrepreneurs who have graduated from KIRDI business incubation programs. The researcher did a census since it was appropriate for this study and used questionnaires to collect qualitative and quantitative data. The study analyzed data using descriptive and inferential statistics through Correlation and regression of variables. Results were reported through tables and figures. Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) was used to aid analysis of data. Data was analyzed and presented using descriptive and inferential statistics.
Result: The summary model results revealed R Square of 0.734 that presented a 73.4 percent of the total variation in performance of women owned MSEs and could be explained by incubation on technology absorption. The study also found that technology absorption variable positively and significantly affected performance of women owned MSEs (β=0.868, p=0.000<.05). The coefficient results denoted that a unit change in technology absorption results to an improvement in performance of women owned MSEs incubated by KIRDI by 0.868 units.
Conclusion: The use of technology such as social media enabled women to open MSEs to grow their businesses as they can use online search engines such as Google and social media channels such as Facebook to target various segments of their audience with highly tailored ads and content. For example, Google enables businesses to target by demographic and keywords, plus a number of other measures.
Recommendation: There is need to continue investigating the problems that hamper the technology transfer process, especially in light of the fact that most technology incubator programs usually indicate that their major objective is transfer and commercialization of technology.
Keywords: Technology absorption, Incubation process, Women owned businesses, Industrial research and development institute.
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