The purpose of the present study is to assess the factors that influence innovations among small and medium enterprises in Mauritius, being given the increasing importance of SME's in the Mauritian economy. The main objectives of the research were to identify and measure factors that promote innovation among SMEs; identify and measure barriers to innovation in SMEs; propose strategies to mitigate effects of barriers to innovation and drive SME innovation.
Following a thorough review of extant literature, a mixed methodology was proposed. Data were collected by means of a questionnaire administered to a targeted sample of 200 SMEs from 18 different sectors out of a population estimated at 12,219 operational SMEs registered at the SMEDA in 2016. In addition, using a qualitative approach, a number of face-to-face interviews were conducted with a cross-section of stakeholders, entrepreneurs and policymakers.
Findings of the study revealed that two main composite aspects, namely 'Financial Assistance Aspect' and 'Personality Aspect' were the main drivers of innovation. The two main composite aspects acting as barriers to innovation were found to be the 'Business Model Aspect' and the 'Collaboration Aspect'. Therefore to promote SME innovation, the study recommended: that Innovation be demystified; the creation of structures to ensure good return on investment in innovation grants/packages; the recognition of the relevance of an entrepreneurial culture and a national guideline to SME innovation/growth.
SMEs,small and medium enterprises,innovation,barriers,Mauritius