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INNOVATION PRACTICES OF SMALL AND MEDIUM ENTREPRISES OWNED BY MYANMAR WOMEN
- This study aims to present the innovation practices in small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) owned by Myanmar women. The specific objectives are to investigate the types of innovation dominating in such enterprises, and to analyze the factors influencing innovation and relationship between innovation and performance. Size of enterprises is identified with number of employees. Sample size in this study is 80, and sample SMEs are randomly selected from 393 SMEs owned by Myanmar women in Yangon. To collect primary data from those selected SMEs, personal interview method is applied by using structured questionnaires. To test the hypotheses which are developed to achieve research objectives, stepwise regression analysis is conducted. From analysis, it is found that increase in sales revenue is resulted from new product innovation which is significantly improved processes and process innovation new. The profit of enterprises have positive effect on process innovation which is either at totally new level or at significantly improved level. Enterprises can also reduce cost per unit of output by improving their existing processes and process innovation which is new to the industry. Firm’s age and availability of capital have positive effect on both product innovation and process innovation. Information source have positive effect on product innovation which is significantly improved on existing product in the market. Moreover, owners’ creativity is necessary for all innovation by types and by newness levels. For new product innovation, owners’ future orientation trait is also supportive; and to improve processes and products, owners have to be flexible to adapt to emerging processes and new attributes of products. This study also highlighted that improved product would not be attractive to customers for increasing sales as well as profit. Thus, women entrepreneurs should try to launch totally new products at the start-up stage of their firms by investing enough of capital, and then they should step up to the next stage. At the next stage, they should invest their retained earnings in innovating new processes in industry.
AYE AYE WIN
- Yangon University of Economics