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ICT, social media and COVID-19: evidence from informal home-based business community in Kuwait City

Yasser Saleh (The Public Authority for Applied Education and Training of Kuwait, Kuwait City, Kuwait)

Journal of Enterprising Communities: People and Places in the Global Economy

ISSN: 1750-6204

Article publication date: 10 September 2020

Issue publication date: 21 June 2021

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to provide information on the importance of information and communication technologies (ICTs) and social media for the development of informal home-based business (HBBs) community in Kuwait City.

Design/methodology/approach

This research is used as a qualitative methodology, which helps the researcher to come to original and direct quotations about the HBBs owners’ thoughts and experiences. In this paper, a multi case-based approach was used, respectively, we have used 14 cases, where 7 operate in the food sector and 7 in the entertainment/game sector. All these informal HBBs are located in Kuwait City.

Findings

The results of the research showed that the respondents use Instagram, WhatsApp, Snapchat, email and websites to communicate with customers and cooperate with business partners. Banks’ applications, such as “Edfali”, are used for doing the payments related to the business. Home-based owners are usually motivated by passion and love for the business, independence, additional source of income, succeeding in a family business, hobby or not finding an appropriate job in other companies.

Research limitations/implications

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we had the opportunity to interview only 14 HBBs and only from two sectors, the food and entertainment/game sector. Further research can be done with more cases and more sectors to see how ICTs and social media help these businesses to develop their activity and spread the business in different places.

Practical implications

This paper provides useful information on the role of ICTs and social media for the informal HBBs, especially during the crisis, such as the COVID-19 pandemic. It might help business owners to prepare adequate strategies to cope with difficult situations and create better conditions for their businesses.

Originality/value

This paper is the first research that treats the informal HBB community in Kuwait City. It could serve as a good base for further studies related to the impact of ICTs and social media on the business performance.

Keywords

Citation

Saleh, Y. (2021), "ICT, social media and COVID-19: evidence from informal home-based business community in Kuwait City", Journal of Enterprising Communities: People and Places in the Global Economy, Vol. 15 No. 3, pp. 395-413. https://doi.org/10.1108/JEC-07-2020-0131

Publisher

:

Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2020, Emerald Publishing Limited

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