The Use of Digital Technologies for Enhancing Female-Owned Small and Medium-Scale Enterprises in Southern Nigeria

The Use of Digital Technologies for Enhancing Female-Owned Small and Medium-Scale Enterprises in Southern Nigeria

Ernest Etim
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-3814-2.ch003
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The empowerment of women through quality education and wage employment has added to income generation for them and their families. Some women become entrepreneurs in the absence of meaningful wage employment, or where formal employments are seasonal, erratic, and not able to support the family. In Sub-Saharan Africa, women who are self-employed are growing exponentially. Globally, women-owned enterprises contribute nominally to total business revenues in most economies, suggesting that on average they are smaller in size and have lower market capitalization. Recently, businesses are migrating online, with entrepreneurs leveraging on digital platforms. This chapter investigates how social media can enhance business operations for women-owned firms, thus mitigating a number of these constraints. A semi-structured questionnaire was administered to 73 respondents; data were analyzed with SPSS (vs. 25). The results showed that some constraints experienced by female entrepreneurs were impacted positively with the use of digital technologies.
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1.1 Background

Nigeria operates a factor driven economy (GEM, 2013), with adults (18-64 years old) having early-stage entrepreneurial activity of 39%. Therefore, greater perceived opportunities to entrepreneurship exist among both genders in comparison to efficiency-driven or innovation-driven economies (GEM, 2013). Comparatively about 69% of respondents in factor-driven economies feel positive about business venturing than in innovative-driven economies. Equally, factor-driven economies exhibit the highest number of necessity-driven enterprises. This means that women engage in entrepreneurship on a subsistent/or survival basis to provide immediate support for their families. More so women and men have equal representation in the number of business created. There is a higher rate of abandonment due to non-viability and non-sustainability of businesses long-term. Statistics show that 41% of women are into early-stage business ownership compared to 30% for men in Nigeria. However, some of these enterprises are discontinued due to financial challenges (GEM, 2013). Another main constraint is the inability to access credit and it results in low capitalization for the businesses. These factors impede performance, viability, and profitability.

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