ICTs and Urban Micro Enterprises : Maximizing Opportunities for Economic Development

The world's urban population is growing faster than its total population, especially in the developing world. The diffusion of information and communication technologies (ICTs), notably the mobile telephone, seems to be growing apace. There are several accounts of urban micro entrepreneurs using ICTs to broaden their reach, communicate more efficiently and increase their earning potential. However, there have been few systematic studies examining the use of ICTs in micro enterprises and their role in reducing poverty.

In this project, researchers will examine the use of ICTs (mobile phones, personal computers, cybercafés) in micro enterprises (defined as enterprises with at least one hired worker) in the sprawling urban setting of Mumbai, India. They will then investigate the positive and negative effects of the phenomenon on poverty using monetary-, capability- and social exclusion-based indicators. The findings are expected to inform the discussion on how ICTs can help micro entrepreneurs raise local standards of living.

Project ID


Project status


Start Date

Thursday, August 21, 2008

End Date

Wednesday, September 21, 2011


24 months

IDRC Officer

Sinha, Chaitali

Total funding

CA$ 191,200


India, Central Asia, Far East Asia, South Asia


Maternal and Child Health

Project Leader

P. Vigneswara Llavarasan


Indian Institute of Technology Delhi

Institution Country


Institution Website