ICT has been promoted as a way out of deprivation for rural residents who continue to suffer from a limited access to social-economic developments. However, less is understood about how a marginalized community can drive its own development. Simultaneously, the focus on ICT in developing context has eclipsed the study of ICT for development in existing literature. These observations underscore the need for this study that explores the use of ICT for grassroots entrepreneurship through the phenomenal rise of China Taobao E-commerce Village. Through an in-depth case study, we propose the concept of digitally enabled grassroots entrepreneurship that (1) contributes to the existing ICT4D literature by explicating the roles of ICT (e-commerce) in driving the grassroots entrepreneurship through the emergence of an entrepreneurial ecosystem for a self-driven development, and (2) delineates the process of digitally enabled development beyond the provision of the Internet and infrastructure by presenting the development stages of digitally enabled grassroots entrepreneurship through the opportunity exploitation and opportunity exploration of business, knowledge, and institutional entrepreneurship. The findings also provide a reference point for practitioners to reconsider the external intervention-based development approach.
Leong, Carmen; Pan, Shan L.; Zhu, Kathy; and Cui, Lili, "DIGITALLY ENABLED GRASSROOTS ENTERPRENEURSHIP FOR RURAL DEVELOPMENT" (2016). PACIS 2016 Proceedings. 85.