Going beyond the image of focus groups as an opportunity for lofty group speak, infoDev will be hosting a diverse focus group dedicated to analyzing why SMEs in emerging markets are often hindered from improving their broadband connections and applications, and how best to assist them.
On May 24 infoDev will sponsor the first of three SME focus groups in Tbilisi, Georgia at the World Bank office conference room (11am, 5-A Nino Ramishvili). The group, made up of representatives of SMEs, will address how much small companies in Georgia are already using broadband, what types they have experienced (mobile, fixed. wireless), what connection speeds and prices, and how this connectivity is helping their current businesses operate more effectively. Group participants will also be asked to imagine what new forms of business expansion and transformation better broadband access would help them achieve.
Participants will be asked what operators, ISPs, regulators, and other third parties (applications and content developers, universities, trade associations, etc.) must do to speed up broadband’s effectiveness and impact. The group will profile the needs of different types of SMEs and consider the special case of SMEs in rural areas.
Two more SME focus groups will be held in Armenia and Azerbaijan in September, with the results flowing into an assessment of broadband challenges and opportunities in the South Caucasus, which is being prepared by the Kalba International (KIN) consulting group. KIN will also hold a consultation workshop in September with broadband stakeholders and a capacity-building workshop later in the year, once the full results of the project are available.
Interested in attending? Please email Tim Kelly (firstname.lastname@example.org) for more information.
The Focus Groups are part of the study of broadband competitiveness in the ECA region, which is part of the broader Finland / infoDev / Nokia project on Creating Sustainable Businesses in the Knowledge Economy. For more information, please see www.infodev.org/CSB.