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Models of Internet-Based Information for Micro and Small Enterprises in the Philippines

This case study of organizations using the Internet to provide information services to micro and small enterprises (MSEs) is one paper in a series that explores the role of information and communication technologies in the development of MSEs. The papers review several business models to assess the extent to which information and communication services have been and can be offered to MSEs in a demand-led and sustainable manner. The paper identifies specific objectives in the study of Internet- based models: * to describe networks of support organizations that use Internet access to provide broad-based services to MSEs * to identify potential models for improving the ability of network members to provide services to MSEs * to describe the institutional arrangements of these models * to explore the possibility of transforming current models into marketable services It concludes with three main issues that appear to hinder the development and use of information and communications technologies: * access * cost * technical expertise Although this study could not conclusively show that information services would improve the competitive position of MSEs, since the number of MSEs currently accessing information services is too low, the demand for information from higher end MSEs indicates they expect information to benefit their businesses. There is the potential for a donor to support the initiation of market-oriented information services targeted toward MSEs in the Philippines. There is also a need to push current and future providers to establish market-based services that meet MSE demand, both in content and in service features. Only such a service has the potential to become financially sustainable and achieve significant outreach.


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