The Significance of Emerging Technologies in Promoting Internationalization of Rural SMEs in South Africa

Lawrence Mpele Lekhanya


Internationalization of rural SMEs can be able to assist in building of rural economic development in the developing countries including South Africa. Because of their characteristics, SMEs are far more flexible and responsive to frequent changes that occur in the contemporary, global environment than large enterprises. This paper intends to analyse the significance of emerging technologies in promoting internationalization of rural SMEs in South Africa. The paper also analyses the most frequent problems of rural SMEs failure to use emerging technologies as a strategic tool to promote internationalization. The primary data was collect using quantitative method. Data was collected from five rural areas of the KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) Province. The sample consisted of 374 SMEs owners/managers, selected using a quota sampling method, with respondents completing five-point Likert scale questionnaire with the assistance of an interviewer. The results reveal that the majority of respondents believe that emerging technology is a very important promotional tool that can be used by rural SMEs to access the international markets; however, the findings also indicate that rural SMEs in rural KZN are affected by lack of technology standards/networks. Further research should aim to develop training capacity building programmes that will provide entrepreneurial skills and encourage entrepreneurial technology innovation and use of new technologies among rural dwellers particularly in KZN.

DOI: 10.5901/mjss.2014.v5n20p2717

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Mediterranean Journal of Social Sciences ISSN 2039-9340(Print) ISSN 2039-2117(Online)

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