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The use of mobile technology to enhance the interaction between microfinance institutions and micro businesses in the Tanzanian context

In his doctoral dissertation, William Clifford Gomera, MBA, designed a prototype mobile training application to enhance quality training to micro businesses and microfinance institutions.

Training to micro businesses on financial instruments is economically, socially, and politically important. Although training can enhance the business performance of micro businesses, it lacks continuity due to geographical distances, low level of education, and time constraints. Appropriately designed mobile learning technology can reduce digital inequality, especially in sparsely resources societies.

This dissertation focused on the development of a pilot prototype for a mobile training application that can contextualize to the local micro businesses’ needs in Tanzania and address the relevant geographical, education level, and time constraints. The motivation of the study is to ensure that micro businesses have access to quality training related to financial instruments.

This study employed a design science research approach, reinforced by design thinking, frugal innovation, and usability evaluations, to design and develop a pilot prototype of a micro business-microfinance (MBMF) mobile training application.

The study results are scalable, useful and have impact on the efforts towards poverty alleviation. The designers and researchers are also provided with proposed of design principles that can be used in different environments and societies.

The study proposes that design science research, when reinforced with design thinking, frugal innovation, and usability evaluation, can be used to produce a ‘good enough’ solutions to practical challenges. Furthermore, this work sets out design principles for mobile training in the context of MFIs and MBs in Tanzania, that can be used in designing of mobile solution in other environmental settings.

The doctoral dissertation of MBA William Gomera, entitled The use of mobile technology to enhance the interaction between microfinance institutions and micro businesses in the Tanzanian context will be examined at the Faculty of Science and Forestry on the 18th of December online. The opponent in the public examination will be Professor Jenny Aker of Tufts University, and the custos will be Docent Jarkko Suhonen of the University of Eastern Finland. The public examination will be held in English.

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Link to the dissertation