Can E- Commerce Enable Marketing in an African Rural Women's Community Based Development Organisation?
University of Capetown, South Africa
The World Bank Development Report (2000) findings show that at the macro level the most effective anti poverty policies are those that achieve equity through redistribution whilst simultaneously enhancing the efficiency of the markets used by poor people. It also found that even if markets work, poor people need assistance to overcome the obstacles that prevent them from freely accessing markets on an equal basis with other business groups. Investment in infrastructure and modern technologies such as ITC’s may break down some of the barriers of access such as physical remoteness and are cited by the World Bank as a potential solution to creating market access. However there is little existing research that examines this scenario at the micro level. This paper uses a case study- the Rural Women's Association (RWA) of Sekhuhkuneland, Northern Province, South Africa to examine if E- commerce can enable access to markets in a impoverished, under resourced rural location. This paper has 5 parts: Part 1 consists of the background and rationale for this study, Part 2 focuses on the education, business acumen and gender issues. Part 3 discusses the current market environment. Part 4 discusses possible business models that can integrate e-commerce in its implementation. Part 5 provides the research questions and the methodology for this study. The final discussion in this study provides us with a viable e-commerce model that could be used in a rural setting and could provide greater economic development for this community.
Key words: e-commerce, marketing, rural economic development, gender