E-business Financing: Preliminary Insights from a Developing Economy Context

Purpose – The deployment and strategic use of e-business, from basic e-mail utilization to total enterprise integration, involves the commitment of financial and technical resources. The resources have to be financed. The purpose of this paper is to ascertain the views of trade promotion organizations, donors, export associations and banks on e-business financing in Ghana’s non-traditional export (NTE) sector, with the view to making policy contributions to the e-business financing phenomenon in a developing economy (DE) context.
Design/methodology/approach – The research design is qualitative since this is an exploratory study and deep preliminary insights were sought about a hitherto under-researched information systems topic from a developing country perspective. Officials from the trade promotion; export association, donor and financial communities were interviewed to generate insights to help understand the phenomenon under investigation.

Findings – Some banks find it difficult financing e-business in NTE firms because it is considered a new area with relatively higher risks and uncertainties. Banks would rather grant small loans to a few select small and medium enterprise exporters in an attempt to limit their default risk. The trade promotion organization is helping (albeit in a moderate manner) with up-skilling for the improvement in e-competencies in Ghana’s NTE sector. The export product association in collaboration with the donor interviewed is in the throes of designing e-business interventions in Ghana’s NTE sector after recently completing an e-readiness survey in the same sector.
Originality/value – This paper presents a modest contribution to the export firm-electronic business literature from a resource-centered perspective, in a DE context. Studies on e-business financing in DEs are virtually non-existent and the policy prescriptions could apply with minor modifications to other related contexts in respect of e-business financing.

Hinson R. Boateng R. and SØrensen O. (2008) “E-business Financing: Preliminary Insights from a Developing Economy Context” Journal of Information, Communication & Ethics in Society Vol. 6 Issue 3 pp 196-215.

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