Perceptions of entrepreneurs about their zero employee web enabled businesses

  • R. J. McQueen and Z. Yin (2014). Journal of Small Business and Enterprise Development (Emerald Group Publishing Ltd.), 26-48
  • Abstract: Purpose: This research aims to examine zero employee web-enabled businesses (ZEWEs) in a New Zealand context. A definition of ZEWEs is conceived and presented, synthesized from gaps in previous SME, micro business and web-based business literature. ZEWEs are an emerging and important new subcategory of web-enabled SMEs that have previously been not well covered by published research. Enablers and barriers to the successful establishment of a ZEWE are identified and compared to previous SME research. Design/methodology/approach: A total of 20 entrepreneurs in New Zealand were interviewed about their perceptions of enablers and barriers to a successful ZEWE, and the components of business strategies that would help them achieve success in the web-based market. Qualitative thematic analysis methods were used to extract factors. Findings: It was found that competitive advantage of products, adopting electronic commerce websites, motivation to become a business owner, and having a good reputation of both entrepreneurs and their businesses are significant enablers of success, while online competition, commercial disputes, capital requirements, deficits in management and technical capabilities, and taxation issues are barriers for the development and future success of ZEWEs. Research limitations/implications: This is exploratory research. The data was gathered in a New Zealand context of entrepreneurs using auction websites to found and operate their ZEWE businesses, and the findings may be useful in understanding other geographic and cultural environments. Originality/value: A new category of zero employee web-enabled enterprises (ZEWE) has been investigated, and found to exist. Enabling factors and barriers particular to this class have been uncovered and compared to previous SME research. This new enterprise category may become important in future research about internet-based small enterprises and the entrepreneurs that start them. Emerald Group Publishing Limited.
  • Theme: Perceptions and attitudes
  • Keywords: Entrepreneur, IT adoption, SME, Web
  • Reference type: Journal Article
  • Geographic location: New Zealand, Oceania, Global North
  • Quality:
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