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Online business development services for entrepreneurs : An exploratory study

Daniel Evans & Thierry Volery

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abstract This paper addresses the use of the Internet to provide business development services such as training, consulting, counselling and networking. Using a Delphi study of experts from around the world, the possible uses of the Internet as well as criteria for successful implementation are presented. Three critical success factors for providing online services are identified. First, an effective use of online resources requires that the inherent strengths of the Internet be exploited. Using online tools when they are perceived to be a 'second-best' mode of communication is inefficient and can be counterproductive. Second, personal contact is still very important and can complement online services. Third, successful online services require an effective Internet site and program management. The study also shows that the specific nature of entrepreneurship and entrepreneurs must be carefully considered when developing online services. The entrepreneur is more concerned about his/her problems and is less concerned with the problems of others. However, he or she is willing to participate in a small learning network if the benefits go beyond that of just learning together. Similarly, online training for entrepreneurs should be complemented by a face-to-face component. An efficient/effective pure online training program for entrepreneurs would be very difficult if not impossible to develop and implement.
   
type journal paper
   
keywords online business,
   
language English
kind of paper journal article
date of appearance 1-10-2001
journal Entrepreneurship and regional development
publisher Routledge (London)
ISSN 0898-5626
ISSN (online) 1464-5114
DOI 10.1080/08985620110052274
volume of journal 13
number of issue 4
page(s) 333-350
review internal review
   
citation Evans, D., & Volery, T. (2001). Online business development services for entrepreneurs : An exploratory study. Entrepreneurship and regional development, 13(4), 333-350, DOI:10.1080/08985620110052274.