Vol. 8 No.2 (2023)

The influence of social media on knowledge-sharing practices among women entrepreneurs in Windhoek, Namibia

Anna Leonard
Senior Librarian - Research Support Services University of Namibia
aleonard@unam.na

Lucy Kiana
Deputy University Librarian, Africa International University, Kenya
lucy.kiana@aiu.ac.ke

Abstract

Rationale of Study – This study investigated the knowledge sharing of entrepreneurs in the realms of social media technology. It explores how social media influences women entrepreneurs' knowledge-sharing and business processes in Windhoek, Namibia.

Methodology – The study adopted a qualitative case study design, using semi- structured interviews to collect data from female entrepreneurs in Windhoek. Twenty woman entrepreneurs were sampled using snowball sampling. A qualitative content analysis was used to analyse the data.

Findings – The study's results show that social media is significant for sharing knowledge and creating and seeking knowledge. Women entrepreneurs apply knowledge shared on social media to advance their business processes and enhance the skills of their workforce. WhatsApp, Facebook, TikTok, and Instagram are the most commonly used social platforms. The study also highlights the potential benefits women entrepreneurs gain from using social media, such as cost-effective marketing and advertising platforms, the ability to engage with a broader population and collaborate with fellow entrepreneurs, the ability to get feedback from customers on services and products, which in turn improve customer loyalty, brand identity and reputation.

Implications – The findings of this study have practical implications for supporting organisations such as libraries in providing training to business enterprises concerning knowledge management and sharing.

Originality – This study adds new insights and perspectives on how women entrepreneurs use information and communication technologies (ICTs) by accentuating social media as a tool for knowledge management in a developing country. The study findings are significant to business enterprises and institutions supporting women entrepreneurs in countries with contexts similar to Namibia’s.

Keywords

Social media platforms, women entrepreneurs, business processes, knowledge management, knowledge exchange