The impact of ICT on the livelihoods of microenterprises

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Case of South Africa

The life-span of microenterprises in context of developing countries is curtailed by a myriad of challenges, such as limited resources, capacity, support and many others.

ICTs are a potential antidote to the problems.

However, there are challenges in using ICTs to sort out the challenges.

The problems for microenterprises go beyond access to ICT and include social, political and economic factors such as lack of access to credit to start-up, lack of recognition within communities and the impact of HIV/AIDS.

The research focused on the case of South Africa and was conducted on an intervention for supporting Small, Medium and Micro Enterprises.

The study confirms the proposition that ICT has the potential for positive impact on the livelihood of microenterprises.

However, use of ICT in microenterprises is not straightforward.

Microenterprises face challenges which lead to non-use of ICT, despite owning or having access to ICTs.

Chief among the problems is lack of awareness on how to employ ICTs in business activities.

The study suggests the need for institutions and organisations to identify the needs for microenterprises in relation to the local context and existing local knowledge.

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