How does the advancement of Information Technology influence female entrepreneurship?


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How does the advancement of Information Technology influence female entrepreneurship? 

Female entrepreneurship is a rising global phenomenon that has received significant scholarly  interest in recent decades. Women entrepreneurs are female individuals who have an idea for a  business, start it, organize, and integrate production components, run the firm, take risks, and  deal with the economic uncertainty that comes with it. We are living in the 21st century, where  “Women Empowerment” plays a major role in society. Kylie Jenner runs Kylie Cosmetics,  Sandra Lerner runs the technology giant Cisco, Anita Roddick started The Body Shop, and when  it comes to Sri Lanka the famous fashion brands ODEL and Embark were founded by Otara  Gunawardena, and Aban Pestonjee founded and runs Abans Group of Companies. Apart from  these big names, there are women around the globe, who are running their own ‘Small  Businesses’, which is also a famous business concept in this decade. Women entrepreneurs may  be defined as small, medium, large business owners, but they are acknowledged as great  entrepreneurs in the modern era due to their strong ambition, traits, and talents for vigorous  economic development.  

In this decade most women are identifying their hidden talents, develop them with their  passion and commitment and discover the business opportunity in that. Handmade jewelry,  bakeries, handmade soap, homemade beauty products, handmade slippers, homegrown  clothing brands are some businesses run by a female, self-made entrepreneurs. Not only  physical goods, today with the development of web platforms, females are also earning money  through putting their creativity into blog writing. The blog website ‘bysophialee’ runs by Sophia  Lee is an example of this. 

Several important factors contribute to the women’s decision to start their own businesses or  to start their own venture. Growth of information technology and social media or the social  media influence, new technologies, development of infrastructure, education, support from  families, support from the government, and support from different organizations are some important, major factors that are influencing women to become self-made entrepreneurs. With  the development of information technology and the rise of new technologies we can cross all  the boundaries today and information technology is one of the biggest influencers in the  business world. Innovation is driven by information technology, and innovation is the road to  corporate success. Business innovation has the same influence that steam did on the industrial  revolution. 

Social media is a type of information technology that allows people to share their ideas,  opinions, and information by creating virtual networks and communities. Social media emerged  as a method for friends and family to communicate in earlier days, but it was eventually  embraced by businesses looking to take advantage of a popular new communication tool to  reach out to clients. The capacity to connect and exchange information with anybody on the  planet, or with many people at once, is the power of social media. In this decade social media  has become one of the most powerful marketing tools. Facebook, Instagram, Tiktok, Pinterest,  Twitter, YouTube are some famous social media platforms today. When Kylie Jenner was starting her cosmetics business, she did not spend money on marketing campaigns. She did all  her marketing by herself using her Instagram and Snapchat accounts. Her first stock of Kylie Lip  Kits sold out within a short period of time and few years later she became one of the youngest billionaires in the world. This is a great example for social media influence. Social media  platforms provide the opportunity for businesses to create business pages, accounts. Through  these business accounts, business owners can connect with customers directly. Social Media  influencers are also playing a major role in this social media marketing process. Brands can  collaborate with these influencers and send them products to review. It gains more customers  and influences people to start something on their own.

With the advancement of social media, the “Small Business” concept bloomed. A small business  is described as a privately held company, partnership, or sole proprietorship with fewer  workers and lower yearly income than a corporation or regular-sized firm. These small  businesses are mostly home-based, run by passionate female entrepreneurs. Aspen Essence by  Hannah England based in Colorado, XXL Scrunchies & Co, Canada runs by Tina Gguyen, Natalia  Trevino Amaro Clothing by Natalia Amaro, Indiana are some famous small businesses run by  female owners. Aalya Clothing by Nihara Thilakarathne, Holaloha Head Bands, Happie Bakies by  Chamathya Ranawana is some small businesses in Sri Lanka. The small business concept is all  about doing what we love and what we are passionate about. Women are creative, passionate,  and always come up with new ideas. They can turn their creativity, passion into a small business  and earn profits by doing what they love. In the Tiktok platform, there are many small business  accounts with more than millions of followers. We can see so many Tiktok trends from time to  time going viral and making movements. Small business owners are using their creativity and  expanding their businesses all over Tiktok. They create content regarding worst client  experiences, the biggest orders that they ever got, how they pack orders, and under many  creative topics. These videos are going viral, being trends, and making profits. The best thing is  the TikTok is free to use, and these videos are emerging new ideas and influence others to start up.  

There are so many social media communities that are influencing and motivating females to  start their own hassle. ‘Women of Impact’ and ‘Business Minded Women’ are two popular  Instagram pages that keep motivating women to become entrepreneurs. They post content to  motivate, make a movement, and empower women in the business world. ‘Women of Impact – Female Entrepreneurs’ Facebook group is a good example for Facebook communities that are  empowering women entrepreneurs. Knowledge sharing, experience sharing can be seen all  over social media which is very important for entrepreneurs to grow. Most of these small  business owners have their own YouTube channels. They share their experiences, how they  became successful, how they started, which influence the audience the most. The owner of XXL  Scrunchies & Co, Tina Gguyen once dropped a video explaining her journey, which was  influencing other girls out there. Blog writer Sophia Lee, who runs ‘bysophialee’ website also influence and teach female to earn through blog writing using her YouTube channel. Natalia  Trevino Amaro Clothing owner Natalia Amaro also has a YouTube channel, which she uses as a platform to teach how to start a clothing line, from where we can buy raw materials, how to  manage finance and ethical and sustainable fashion. Sharing knowledge and experiences are  vital to those who are willing to start their own hassle. With the technology that we have today,  it is way easier, more effective than ever. 

Today anyone can build their websites on their own without a good software engineer or an IT  Firm. Wix.com, Bluehost, Square space is popular web template suppliers. Women do not need  a piece of good knowledge of information technology, they can build their own business  website and customize it with the support of tutorials these companies provide. They can also  create their own content, posters, banners for marketing without paying for a designing firm.  Canva is an example for a designing supporter, which is founded by Melanie Perkins, also a  female entrepreneur. With the development of web technologies, E-Commerce plays a major  role today. Without owning a physical store female entrepreneurs can sell their products  directly to customers all over the world through a single web page. They can be a mom, wife,  sister, daughter, and an entrepreneur at once under the same roof with these trends of  information technology. Google Business, Google Analytics is also providing support for them to  analyze data on their own and reach a global audience by themselves. With the development of  E-Commerce female entrepreneurs can directly sell their products on Amazon, Ali Baba, Ali  Express, and on other worldwide e-commerce websites. Also, from these sites they can  purchase packaging supplies, billing supplies, raw materials easily and get them shipped to  anywhere in the world. 

Even though now we all are passing a hard period because of the Covid-19 pandemic, we can  still see the women entrepreneurs are doing their best. Foundations like Otara Foundation by  Otara Gunawardena are conducting workshops via cloud meeting platforms like Zoom,  Microsoft Teams to encourage and influence female, self-made entrepreneurs. This is also a  great example for using information technology effectively to encourage female entrepreneurs.  

Information technology is one of the biggest influences of female entrepreneurship. It provides  free platforms, knowledge to all the girl bosses to expand their businesses, creativity, and  importantly does what they love. Women empowerment, lifting women up concepts found a  new purpose, new platforms with the advancement of information technology. All the strong,  self-made women are now bringing their hassles to a whole new level with the development of  information technology.

Sanduni Opatha
Information Systems Engineering Undergraduate
SLIIT

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