n Innovation : journal of appropriate librarianship and information work in Southern Africa - Challenges of e-society for informal sector women entrepreneurs of Hlabisa local municipality in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa

Volume 2014, Issue 48
  • ISSN : 1025-8892



Generally, rural communities and women in particular lack access to opportunities for their growth and advancement. Women always seek growth opportunities in business, health, education, agriculture and other sectors that relate to their needs and capacities. Information and knowledge society (an e-society) creates a platform for extensive use of information and communication technologies which support information and knowledge creation, availability, access and use. E-society therefore becomes an ideal environment for women, particularly informal sector women entrepreneurs, to interact and share information, knowledge and skills regarding their trading activities, through the use of mobile services, telephone services and other technological tools. The main aim of the study was to examine information and knowledge society and its impact on poverty alleviation and the economic empowerment of informal sector women entrepreneurs in South Africa. The following research questions were considered: What information e-sources and e-channels are used by informal sector women entrepreneurs of Hlabisa Local Municipality? What are the challenges faced when using the e-sources and e-channels for information access and use? How can these challenges be addressed? Focus group discussions, interviews and observations were used to collect primary data. Through literature review and content analysis, secondary data were collected. The findings indicate that mobile phones are owned and used by many informal sector women entrepreneurs in the area. Additionally, telephones, a library and various banks are available to be accessed and used for information; however, there are challenges.

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