Entrepreneurial responses to COVID-19 farmers’ market closures – the experiences of rural micro vendors using social media

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Abstract

Farmers’ markets present a low cost, low-risk retail outlet for rural micro-business vendors. Consequently, their closure during the COVID-19 pandemic presented a significant challenge to vendors as they were unable to use their traditional distribution channel and had to employ social media technologies to generate an income. This research explored the barriers and enablers of social media usage by farmers’ market vendors in response to COVID-19 closures, using the UTAUT as a guiding framework. A qualitative approach was adopted utilising semi-structured interviews with 11 businesses that typically sold through farmers’ markets. The findings suggest that while performance expectancy and social influence may support technology adoption among rural micro-business market vendors; the effort perceived to adopt and use it effectively may present a barrier. Practical implications from the research suggest that facilitating conditions in the form of educational training and financial support could help vendors adopt and use technology more strategically
Original languageEnglish
JournalInternational Journal of Entrepreneurship and Small Business
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2022

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