Digital design and technology and market outreach in rural Zimbabwe
Despite producing top of the range products and services, entrepreneurs in Zimbabwe's rural Gokwe face limited access to markets. Access to local and regional trading markets is further aggravated by inadequate technological infrastructure and financial resources to carry out business activities. Aim: This article investigates the role of digital design and technology in expanding market outreach in Zimbabwe. Methods: A mixed methods research design was adopted. The qualitative data, obtained from semi-structured interviews and a focus group discussion, was analysed through thematic analysis. The quantitative data was obtained from the administration of a questionnaire and used to corroborate the findings of the qualitative tool. Results: The findings revealed that while digital design and technology had little effect on identifying entrepreneurial opportunities and communicating with potential customers in Gokwe, there were clear signs that plans were being made to integrate digital technology and internet connectivity in at least one sector of the rural economy of the district. Implications: The findings may provide vital information for rural entrepreneurs and policymakers looking to benefit from the digital revolution. Recommendation: The paper encourages the use of digital marketing and advertising to take advantage of entrepreneurial opportunities.
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