Information and Communication Technology has again been cited as the stepping stone towards successful entrepreneurship for the Small and medium entrepreneurs in East Africa who have once again been advised to take serious measures towards changing their business approach in creating virtual shops online through their website.
Gudula Naiga Basaza, Executive Director of Uganda based company Gudie Leisure farm ushered the advice during the First Eastern Africa Women Entrepreneurs Exchange Network Annual General meeting that was held in Dar es Salaam recntly.
“There is a need for women entrepreneurs to use this technology so that they can fully exploit available opportunities within the East African Community, Comesa, SADC regions…,” advised the director.
An entrepreneur herself, she also called on them to sell their products in various languages and create user friendly payment methods.
For the internet tech novices, the seasoned director counselled them to publish their businesses on blogs that are set up for free but allow most of all website features including purchase links via online financial service providers.
She did however acknowledge that majority of women entrepreneurs don’t have emails let alone websites and they even do not shop online. She suggested they start using social media sites like twitter, and facebook to accustom themselves with the digital world and its infinite possibilities.
At the moment in the EAC, women participation in trade is largely concentrated in informal cross border trade and micro, small and medium entrepreneurs’ business models.
In fact, cross border survey shows that 80 percent of total business conducted within this area is carried out by women; unfortunately they are not able to fully exploit available opportunities within the East African Community, SADC and Comesa until they adopt the advised use of virtual shops.