oa South African Journal of Information Management - Study of South African small retail businesses' utilisation of information resources

Volume 11, Issue 3
  • ISSN : 2078-1865
  • E-ISSN: 1560-683X



Throughout the world one finds that small businesses are playing critical roles in absorbing labour, penetrating new markets, and promoting entrepreneurial and innovative activities. These businesses have the same information needs as their bigger counterparts. Web portals can offer small businesses platforms to reach information resources effectively and hence create a stimulating business community for entrepreneurship. The purpose of this research was to investigate the extent to which online community information portals can promote the use of information resources for small retail business in South Africa. For the empirical part of this research 150 questionnaires were completed by small retail businesses. The questionnaire consisted of four sections: business biographical information; business information and agencies; information and communication technologies usage; and community and portal activities. It was found that small business owners and managers are unwilling to disclose business information, especially their financial information but that they are very interested in networking with other businesses, in particular with potential customers and suppliers.

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