Date of Conferral
Dr. Anthony Lolas
Microenterprise owners in developing countries may be uncertain although aware of how to use technologies, such as social media, to advance their economic interests. The purpose of this qualitative single case study was to determine how microenterprise owners in Trinidad and Tobago (T&T) can benefit from social media usage in their business operations. The conceptual framework was Rogers's innovation decision process. The overarching research question for this study was how microenterprise owners in rural T&T could overcome the uncertainty of using social media for business growth and competitiveness. Data collection involved the administration of a business demographic survey and semistructured interviews with 14 microenterprise owners in rural T&T. Descriptive coding, chunking, and identification of themes comprised of data analysis. The seven emerging themes were that participants (a) expanded on awareness knowledge, (b) leveraged business acumen to manage social media usage, (c) implemented social media strategies competently, (d) treated drawbacks as negative ideas and not as formidable threats, (e) projected confidence in using business acumen to curtail drawbacks, (f) anticipated favorable outcomes from benefits, and (g) confidently relied on business acumen to leverage benefits. Study findings may contribute to positive social change by illuminating the innovative ways that T&T microenterprise owners can use social media to counter the impact of business constraints and enhance their business growth and competitive position. Social media training initiatives by owners, change agents, and government officials may positively impact economic growth for T&T microenterprise owners and others at local and national levels.