MWAIS 2024 Proceedings


Integration of information systems with business development is vital for enabling small businesses to unlock their full potential, especially in emerging Indian markets undergoing rapid digitization. Adoption of marketing through social media by small businesses has considerable impact on the improvement of their business outcome (Chatterjee, et al, 2020). This paper examines how information technology enabled social media empowers small business owners in today's digital era by studying thirteen small-scale entrepreneurs who participated in a student-led intervention program. Results indicate that despite potential benefits, many small businesses in emerging markets encounter barriers to adopting and effectively using information systems. Recent data from the World Bank shows that 45% of SMEs in developing countries lack basic internet connectivity, and only 20% have a website (World Bank 2019). Challenges such as lack of awareness, lacuna in skills required to access digital infrastructure, and inadequate technical expertise, hinder the ability of small-scale entrepreneurs to leverage IT enabled social media for business development. Conclusions from this research indicate that the inability to establish a digital presence through social media, websites, and digital marketing restrains business growth. Addressing these challenges through reverse mentoring programs such as the one discussed here provides an affordable, cross-generational salutation with the potential to empower small business owners to leverage IT, thereby fostering business development and stranger network connections.