Title: Networking and e-government for local development - experiences gained by entrepreneurs in small enterprises in Sweden
Authors: Iréne Bernhard; Kerstin Grundén
Addresses: School of Business, Economics and IT, University West, SE-461 86 Trollhättan, Sweden ' School of Business, Economics and IT, University West, SE-461 86 Trollhättan, Sweden
Abstract: This paper aims to analyse experiences gained by entrepreneurs in small enterprises located in a region undergoing structural change, focusing on networking and e-government for local development. The study is a further development of a study that focused on how municipalities supported entrepreneurship and destination development. In-depth qualitative interviews were made with twelve entrepreneurs from ten small enterprises. Based on a theoretical discussion of networking, e-government and social media marketing, the results indicate that networks and strategic networking were important in order to develop their enterprises, which also contributed to local development. The importance of initial face-to-face contacts in order to build business relationships in networks was stressed. The use of local e-government was hitherto limited to e-services for public procurement, the use of social media marketing was limited due to lack of time, competence and motivation for most of the entrepreneurs.
Keywords: strategic networking; e-government; social media marketing; small enterprises; local development; networks; entrepreneurship; e-governance; innovation; destination development; Sweden; small firms; electronic government; electronic governance; regional development; business relationships; e-services; electronic services; online services; public procurement; time; competence; motivation.
International Journal of Entrepreneurship and Small Business, 2016 Vol.29 No.2, pp.154 - 175
Received: 27 Jan 2015
Accepted: 06 Oct 2015
Published online: 08 Aug 2016 *