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World Bank, Washington, DC
Africa | Africa Western and Central (AFW) | Senegal
2021-03-11T15:04:02Z | 2021-03-11T15:04:02Z | 2021-03

This paper explores the use of digital technologies among informal micro-sized firms in Senegal, their association with productivity, sales, exports and jobs, and the role of age and gender dimensions of enterprise owners. The study uses a new national sample of over 500 firms, of which over 90 percent are not fully formal and over 95 percent are micro-sized, employing five or fewer full-time employees. The analysis finds that using a 2G mobile phone is significantly positively correlated both with productivity and sales, and using a smartphone is associated with an additional premium relative to using a 2G. The largest statistically significant conditional correlate of productivity, sales and jobs is a more specialized internal-to-the-firm management technology proxying for management capabilities more generally, namely inventory control/point of sales (POS) software. Use of digital technologies to facilitate external-to-the-firm transactions, namely using mobile money to pay suppliers and to receive payments from customers are also statistically significant conditional correlates of productivity and sales. Using a smartphone is also positively correlated with exporting (while using only a 2G phone is not). Finally, there are significant digital divides in the use of digital technologies across age and gender groupings.


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