Supporting digitally enabled entrepreneurship in rural areas requires a holistic approach to ensure rural entrepreneurs take advantage of digital services finding innovative solutions that allow businesses to thrive in competitive markets. In the absence of a model for value-added digital services for rural entrepreneurs, it is uncertain what type of digital services should be offered for rural entrepreneurs once the challenges of connectivity, electricity and digital skills have been addressed and whether those digital rural services are responsive to rural communities' needs and aspirations. The purpose of this study was to explore elements to be considered when developing a Valued Added Digital Services Model for Rural Entrepreneurs in Namibia. The study applied a cross-sectional survey using a mixed-method to collect data from 134 respondents comprising 14 rural entrepreneurs and 63 members from four rural communities and 57 ICT sector key informants. The results elucidated that, Digital Infrastructure, Digital Skills, Digital Inclusion, Digital Services and Digital Actors are the five key elements for the model. The study proposed a conceptual model that facilitates the understanding and underscore the effectiveness of an ecosystem approach that is embedded in drivers and pillars of a thriving entrepreneur and proposes interventions to mitigate the barriers for effective adoption of digital services by rural entrepreneurs.
Kamutuezu, Elizabeth Ujarura; Winschiers-Theophilus, Heike; and Peters, Anicia, "Elements for Developing a Value-Added Digital Services Model for Rural Entrepreneurs in Namibia: An Exploratory Study" (2021). MENACIS2021. 6.