Technology Entrepreneurship- Potential for Social Innovation? The Case of Kenyan Mobile Industry Companies

Paula Linna and Ulf Richter

Abstract

In this exploratory study, we analyze the potential of technology entrepreneurship as an engine for social transformation in the mobile service sector in Kenya. With our research, we aim to significantly advance the empirical analysis of sustainable business solutions for the bottom of the pyramid (BOP). We conducted thirteen open-end interviews from November 2010 to January 2011 with experts of the mobile phone sector, operating in Kenya and beyond. In our preliminary findings, we look at i) market opportunities and challenges serving the BOP and ii) innovating solutions for the BOP. We conclude that Kenya has developed a vibrant community of established players and young tech entrepreneurs focusing on overcoming the challenges at the BOP using mobile technologies. Nevertheless, the main challenge is that mobile services for BOP are still lacking financially sustainable business model.

Full Text [PDF]