Innovation and Small Enterprises in the Third World
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Innovation and Small Enterprises in the Third World

Edited by Meine Pieter van Dijk and Henry Sandee

Innovation is crucial for small enterprises to become and remain competitive in the global economy. In this book, the authors have combined theoretical insights with comprehensive case studies on innovation among small-scale enterprises in developing countries, paying particular attention to technological change in clusters of small firms.
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Chapter 6: Innovation and Small Enterprise Development Examples from Burkina Faso, Ghana and Zimbabwe

Meine Pieter van Dijk


Chapter 6 15/3/02 9:03 am Page 1 6. Innovation and small enterprise development examples from Burkina Faso, Ghana and Zimbabwe Meine Pieter van Dijk Innovation is crucial for small enterprises to become and remain competitive. We would like to assess what experience has been gained with technological development, the promotion of innovation and its diffusion in a third world context and in particular in two West African countries and one southern African country. Three levels of analysis were distinguished in Chapter 1. First, the policy level promoting (or discouraging) innovation and innovation diffusion. Secondly, the level of the business support system and the importance that technological development and innovation play at that level and, finally, the level of the enterprise or a cluster of enterprises where the actual development and diffusion should take place. Our data for Burkina Faso, Ghana and Zimbabwe are at the latter level. In the global economy a great deal of technology is available on the shelf and can be bought. Even poor countries like Bangladesh tend to buy modern technologies, fearing that their exports would otherwise not be able to compete on the world market (Van Dijk, 1995). In this contribution we will also look at the mechanisms of technology transfer, the local capacity to adapt and develop technologies and the degree to which government, private sector associations and donor organizations can influence the process. Some examples will be given of enterprise co-operation stimulating innovation in Ghana. Subsequently different forms of interfirm relations will...

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