Virtually ISBE: Female entrepreneurship, innovative technologies and the shift in customer requirements in the era of COVID-19


ISBE 2021, Wednesday 10th February 2021, 10am-5pm

Dr. Nisreen Ameen, Lecturer in Marketing, Royal Holloway, University of London
Professor Jyoti Choudrie, Professor of Information Systems, University of Hertfordshire
Professor Paul Jones, Professor in Entrepreneurship & Innovation, Business, Swansea University
Dr. Amitabh Anand, SKEMA Business School – University Côte d’Azur, GREDEG

Venue: Virtual

Free to ISBE Members.
£8 for all others

Please Click here to register


The use of technology in female entrepreneurship and its role in overcoming some of the key challenges female entrepreneurs face have attracted attention among academics. The topic of female-led small and medium size enterprises (SMEs) has grown in interest amongst the entrepreneurship research community. However, the world has recently faced an unprecedented global health crisis (COVID-19) which affected not only peoples’ health and social life but also businesses around the world, particularly SMEs. As a result, governments in many countries started to support these businesses after the lockdown period and following the social distancing rules which caused a change in customers’ needs and preferences. Despite this support, female entrepreneurs remain a vulnerable category affected by the COVID-19 impact. The pre-existing barriers to business which they face are compounded by the virus and its negative effects: a lack of access to finance, lack of networks and mentors, competing gendered priorities such as providing care and domestic labour, and many more intersecting issues will increase if gender-sensitive strategies are not put in place to counter them. A recent survey conducted by the Cherie Blair Foundation for Women showed that 97% of the surveyed female entrepreneurs had their businesses already been negatively impacted, or believe they soon will be, as a result of the COVID-19 global pandemic. Creating a customer strategy and action plan by carefully canvassing these issues and defining key priorities for each can be a major challenge.

The COVID-19 crisis has led some businesses and tech companies to try and find innovative solutions that can help these businesses to reopen with minimal negative effects on public health during the pandemic. A key question here is: can innovative technologies enable such a transition to an alternative business model for female entrepreneurs? There is a need for a more indepth understanding of how innovative technologies such as artificial intelligence, virtual reality, augmented reality, mobile technologies and robotics can be utilised in different areas of the business in the context of female-led SMEs in their response to COVID 19. The use of these technologies to help female-led SMEs survive the unprecedented situation of COVID 19 is a complex phenomenon and it remains an untapped area in existing research. This workshop focuses on how female entrepreneurs can use innovative technologies for their businesses during and post COVID-19 and the digital gap in this area.


The key topics that will be covered include, but not limited to the following:

  • The shift in customers’ needs and preferences in using innovative technologies post the COVID-19 crisis and how this can impact female-led SMEs.
  • The shift caused by COVID-19 in terms of how female entrepreneurs prefer to interact with and engage customers at an international level.
  • Female entrepreneurs’ decision making in terms of selecting innovative technologies to manage their businesses in times of a health crisis.
  • The digital divide and inequalities among SMEs and entrepreneurs in accessing innovative technologies and their impact on business sustainability during and post COVID-19.
  • Gender differences among entrepreneurs in responding to COVID-19 challenges and the role of innovative technologies in overcoming these challenges.
  • Policies for using innovative technologies for a more inclusive entrepreneurship during and post the COVID-19 crisis.


Authors who wish to participate in the workshop should submit an extended abstract to the workshop chairs by email to ( Extended abstracts must not exceed 2500 words or 8 double-spaced pages. The page limit includes the cover page (which contains the title, abstract and keywords), all text, figures, tables, references, and appendices. Extended abstracts will be reviewed only by the workshop organisers. Authors can submit the extended abstract to the guest editors before 15 December 2020.


There will be three key outcomes:

– An opportunity for the workshop participants to reflect on their practice and development with others

– The development of action plan which can be used to shape policy and practice

– Authors of selected extended abstracts will be invited to submit a full paper to a special issue in Information Systems Frontiers journal “Innovative Technologies and Small-Medium Sized Enterprises in Times of Crisis A COVID 19 Call”



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