Digital Divide: Impact on Hispanic-Owned Small Businesses


  • Cecilia Temponi Texas State University at San Marcos
  • Jaime Chahin Texas State University at San Marcos


Information inequity creates a  major  gap  between  minority  and  non-minority  businesses  in the areas of business opportunities,  communication,  and  information  technologies.  The purpose of this study is to survey the technological potential of Hispanic-owned  small businesses (HSBs) to engage in e-commerce, specifically in e-procurement. The names of the HSBs were requested from the Office of Small Business Administration, which provided a national database of 9,800 businesses. A total of 1,200 businesses were randomly selected to receive the survey. Results indicate that small businesses have issues of concern regarding the process to access the Internet. HSBs find limitations in gaining access to e-commerce and its elements. Some limitations relate to financial constraints to buy computers; other limitations relate to Internet access methodology and ability to hire information technology personnel. Assisting HSBs to gain access to financial resources is crucial towards narrowing  the digital divide and therefore reducing/eliminating its effects on the long-term  survival of  Hispanic small businesses. Government agencies and non-profit and  private  business  organizations should develop financial and outreach opportunities to  enhance participation  of  Hispanic­ owned small  businesses.


Anonymous. (2000a). Minority Owned Businesses Show Steady Growth. Jacksonville: Free Press.

Anonymous. (2000b). A guide to government and e-commerce: the digital future of government. Public Management, 82, 1-8.

Benton Foundation. (200l a). Digital Divide Basics. Retrieved April 7, 2001, from

Benton Foundation. (200l b). The Digital World of Hispanics in the United States. Retrieved from l

Black, H., Robinson, B., & Schweitzer, R. (2001 ). Do lenders discriminate against low­ income borrowers? Review of Black Political Economy, 28, 73, 22.

Borgida, E., Sullivan, J. L., Oxendine, A., Jackson, M. S., Riedel, E., & Gangl, A. (2002). Civic culture meets the digital divide: The role of community electronic networks. The Journal of Social Issues, 58, 125-142.

Brush, K. (2000). New Study Finds that Small Business Missing Out on Internet Opportunities. Retrieved July 25, 2000, from

Chan, E. & Swatman, P.M.C. (1999). Electronic commerce: a component model. 3rd Annual Collector Conference on Electronic Commerce. Retrieved from

Chaston, I., Badger, B., Mangles, T. & Sadler-Smith, E. (2001). The Internet and e­ commerce: An opportunity to examine organizational learning in progress in small manufacturing firms. International Small Business Journal, 19, 13-20.

Cutler, R. (2001). Tomas Rivera Policy Institute's Digital Steppingstones. Retrieved from 125.

Dillehay, B.H. (2002). E-government as Virginia's vision. Spectrum, 75, 24-29.

Dodge, R. (2000, October 15). Minority Businesses tackle Digital Divide, !Learn to use Internet. Dallas Morning News, p. I H.

Ferguson, K. (2000), SBA and Cisco Systems link up to Bridge the Digital Divide. Las Vegas Business Press, 17, 29-30.

Ford-Livene, M. (1999). The Digital Dilemma: Ten Challenges Facing Minority-Owned New Media Ventures. -Federal Communications Law Journal, 51, 577-608.

Garcia, K. (2001). Crossing the Digital Divide. Hispanic Magazine, 80-82.

Garson, G.D. (1999). Retrieved from

Haves and Have-nots. (2000, June 22). The Economist, 355, 23-26.

Hecht, B. (200 I ). Bridging the digital divide. Journal of Housing and Community Development, 58, 14-18.

Huck, P. (1999a). How Do Minorities Fund Small Business Start-ups? Two Chicago Neighborhoods Offer Insight. The Region, Minneapolis, 13, 10-15.

Huck, P. (1999b). Small Business Finance in Two Chicago Minority Neighborhoods Economic Perspectives. Chicago, 23, 46-63.

Kennard, W. (1999). Equality in the Information Age. Federal Communications Law Journal, 51, 553-557.

Krasnow, E. G. ( 1999). The FCC's Minority Tax Certificate Program: a Proposal for Life after Death. Federal Communications Law Journal, 51, 665-680.

La Noue, G. R. (2000). To the Disadvantaged go the Spoils? Public Interest, 138, 91-99.

Lorek, L. A. (2002, June 12). More Hispanics log on to Internet. San Antonio Express News, p. 8E.

Manor, B., Riolli-Saltzrnan, L., & Luthans, F. (2001). After the bubble Burst: How Small high-tech firms can keep in front of the wave. The Academy of Management Executive, 15, 1 14-124.

Martinez, T. (1999). Can We Bridge the Gap?: Discrepancies Between Hispanic Businesses and the Poor Hispanic people. Ethics of Development in a Global Environment Journals. Retrieved August 10, 2000, from

Mitchell, K. (2000). Instituting e-procurernent in the public sector. Public Management, 82, 21-26.

Norris, D., Fletcher, P. & Holden, S. (2001). Is your local government plugged in? Highlights of Electronic Government Survey 2000. Public Management, 83, 4-10.

Nunnelly, J. C. (1978). Psychometric Theory (2nd Ed.). New York: McGraw Hill.

Nute, D. (2002). Net eases government purchasing process. American City & County, I I 7, 8-10.

Ong, P. (2001 ). Set-Aside Contracting in SBA's 8(A) Program. Review of Black Political Economy, 28, 59-63.

PR Newswire. (2002). National Journalists and Technology Experts Examine the Digital Divide. Retrieved May 5, 2002, from http://Www.Newscorn.Com/Cgi- Bin/Pmh/20000822/Msflogo.

Robson, P. J. & Benett, R. J. (1999). Central Government support to SMEs compared to business link, business connect and business shop and the prospects for the small business service. Regional Studies, 33, 779-787.

The Keenest Recruits to the Dream. ( 1998, April 23) ( 1998). The Economist, 346. 25-29. Twist, K. (2001). Small Business slowly adjusts to an expensive and complex new economy.

Retrieved from 195. Ursery, S. ( 2003). Onl ine system makes bid process smoother. American City & County, 118, 14-19.

Wallace, S. L. (1999). Minority Procurement: Beyond Affirmative Action to Economic Empowerment. Review of Black Political Economy, 27, 73, 26.

Yudkowsky, C. (2001 ). Digital divide is larger than previously thought. Retrieved from I/07I IO/smallb2.htrnl.







How to Cite

Digital Divide: Impact on Hispanic-Owned Small Businesses. (2003). Journal of Small Business Strategy (archive Only), 14(2), 73-91.