E-Business among Ethnic Minority Businesses: The Case of Ethnic Entrepreneurs

E-Business among Ethnic Minority Businesses: The Case of Ethnic Entrepreneurs

Martin Beckinsale
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60566-998-4.ch010
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A small but growing body of evidence (SBS, 2004; Beckinsale & Ram, 2006) has indicated that Ethnic Minority Businesses (EMBs) have not adopted Information Communication Technology (ICT) at comparable rates to their non-EMB counterparts predominantly Small and Medium Sized Enterprises (SMEs). With EMBs accounting for almost 10% of businesses in the UK the economic impact as ICT adoption continues to further develop across mainstream markets could be highly significant. Existing UK ICT policies have also failed to engage with EMBs until the NW ICT Adoption Pilot in 2004. The current, limited body of research is fragmented, provides limited understanding and coherence on reasons of low ICT adoption and lacks exemplars upon which policy considerations may be made. Firstly, the chapter will examine and review the existing body of literature. Secondly, EMB cases that have developed ICT to a degree where they are engaging in eBusiness activity are analysed and discussed. The findings provide a number of options and guidance for EMB owners. Finally, the recommendations point to the need for improved ICT awareness, better business support provision nationally and the importance of generation and education as key drivers.
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Background To Ict Adoption And Ebusiness

ICT is defined as ‘any technology used to support information gathering, processing, distribution and use’ (Beynon-Davies, 2004, pp. 7-8). ICT has also become synonymous with the areas of eCommerce and eBusiness and Chaffey (2007) states that ICT is ‘used to create eBusiness systems’ (p. 14). Chaffey (2007) defines eCommerce as all electronically mediated information exchanges between an organisation and its external stakeholders and significantly distinguishes eBusiness by including additional exchanges within the organization that support a range of business processes (p. 5). The definitions are clear but the ICT adoption literature has generally been viewed as fragmented (Galloway, 2006) and lacking cohesion in the understanding of issues (p. 140) especially relating to SMEs, entrepreneurs and EMBs.

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