Assistant professor at the University of New Mexico Anderson School of Management researches and identifies the processes and technology uses that economically disadvantaged entrepreneurs employ to better understand how they manage and grow their businesses. I am. This study is part of a larger research collection focused on poverty and economic development.
Xaver Neumayer focuses her research on understanding how these entrepreneurs work and the impact they have on their communities. He realized that as they learned and started new businesses, they were making great contributions to their communities by creating job opportunities and providing needed services to their fellow business owners and neighbors.
“In today's dynamic business environment, entrepreneurs find themselves in a unique position in the amount of technological resources available to help them grow their businesses,” said Neumeier. “This exploitation may include improving operational efficiency, customer reach, developing business plans and strategies, or developing and testing prototypes.”
Entrepreneurship process for low-income people
In his 2023 research paper “Technology of the Entrepreneurial Process: A Poverty Perspective” published in IEEE Transactions on Engineering Management, Mr. Neumeier, co-author Dr. Interviews conducted from home were used. Santos. They learned that this group of entrepreneurs typically build businesses based on personal labor such as handyman work, delivery services, dog sitting, cleaning and landscaping services.
From these interviews, Neumeyer and his coauthors identified four categories of how low-income entrepreneurs use technology in their ventures. Category 1 involves assessing and planning how to acquire resources for your business. For example, an entrepreneur might purchase a bicycle from a neighbor to help with a delivery service. Category 2 involves understanding the capabilities and scope of technology within the business. In this step, the former entrepreneur might consider how long that bike will last and start researching and saving to buy a car. In Category 3, business owners begin to evaluate their ability to innovate and improve by taking training and creatively using available tools and equipment in different ways. Finally, Category 4 focuses on community building to establish a customer base and foster growth within the community.
Overall, interviews revealed that cash-strapped managers improvise solutions based on personal connections and resources. Essentially, it's about finding new combinations that can produce different, more favorable results. When technology needs to be expanded, such as purchasing a new vehicle for deliveries, this is usually done by borrowing or trading from family or close friends in the area.
Today's entrepreneurs can leverage technology in a variety of ways, from creating a business to understanding industry trends, growing a business, and even managing business challenges. For example, online platforms such as Kickstarter and LinkedIn are useful for crowdfunding and networking. Social media, e-commerce sites, and customer relationship management software can all help create efficiencies within your business that directly translate into business growth. Artificial intelligence tools can help business owners track market changes and identify operational challenges, among other benefits.
“While the use of new digital tools offers many benefits for entrepreneurs and small business owners, it can also hide expenses and obligations,” Neumeier emphasized. While it's important to understand the benefits and challenges of each technology, business owners also need to learn about potential hidden fees and company dependencies that may arise in the future. ”
How to overcome technology adoption hurdles
In today's world, it is essential to adopt new technologies to grow your business. Access to a computer and the Internet to create a website and social media accounts directly impacts a company's ability to grow and achieve longevity in the marketplace. However, disadvantaged entrepreneurs struggle not only with access to computers and the internet, but also with training to learn how to use the latest digital technologies.
Neumeyer shares that there are ways to overcome these challenges. He suggests looking to your local library or community center. These are his community hubs where he can continually provide workshops with practical training on how to use computers and software, and help set up his email and social media accounts.
“Ultimately, leveraging technology successfully as an entrepreneur is about balancing the long-term goals of your business with the capabilities of new digital technologies,” he said. “It’s important that entrepreneurs control the technology, not the other way around.”
Xaver Neumeyer is an assistant professor of finance and innovation at the University of New Mexico Anderson School of Management. His research focuses on entrepreneurship, technology management, innovation, and how each of these areas impacts the poor.
Anderson offers more than a dozen intensive courses at the bachelor's and master's levels and is recognized by the Association for the Advancement of Collegiate Business Schools in the top 20 percent of business schools in the United States. Nation.