The Determinants of Digital Entrepreneurship by Informal MSEs in Egypt

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Purpose: This study examines the determinants of engaging in digital entrepreneurship (DE), focusing on women and youth male entrepreneurs who are owners of informal MSEs in Egypt.

Design/methodology/approach: The study combines the theory of planned behaviour with the diffusion of innovation theory as a conceptual framework. It tests whether an entrepreneur’s characteristics, attitudes, goals, and the innovation attributes of social media, in terms of perceived relative advantage, trialability, and observability, have resulted in DE adoption. Data were collected through phone interviews with 408 Egyptian women and youth male entrepreneurs who are residents of Greater Cairo and who own informal MSEs that only operate online.

Findings: Results of the statistical analysis reveal the significantly negative impact of self-confidence and boredom on DE adoption. In contrast, making money, connectivity, self-actualisation, and minimising direct costs positively affect DE adoption.

Practical implications: The findings will be useful to future entrepreneurs and educators. It should also benefit policymakers that target economic development through MSE creation and the inclusion and empowerment of women and youths.

Originality/value: This research contributes to the scant literature by providing a modified theoretical framework for future academic studies.