Can Expanding the Use of Computers Improve the Performance of Small Minority- and Women-Owned Enterprises?

Research Report

Can Expanding the Use of Computers Improve the Performance of Small Minority- and Women-Owned Enterprises?

Abstract

This study examines whether small minority- and women-owned enterprises (MWEs) use computers less than white-male-owned enterprises and whether higher levels of computer use increase productivity. We use data from a new telephone survey of roughly 1,100 firms and 45 in-depth interviews with business owners. The results suggest that: (1) Small MWEs show no tendency to use computers less than small firms owned by white men; and (2) Using computers for more business functions and/or more intensively for these business functions can raise the productivity and profitability of small MWEs.

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