Chapter 12: Exploring the Socio-Demographic Characteristics of the E-Entrepreneur: An Empirical Study on Spanish Ventures
12 Exploring the socio-demographic characteristics of the e-entrepreneur: an empirical study of Spanish ventures Antonio Padilla-Meléndez, Christian Serarols-Tarres and Ana Rosa del Águila-Obra Introduction Nowadays, the Internet is a framework where people can exchange information at a speed never seen before (Schwartz, 1997). In this network, pure dotcoms, Internet start-ups or cyber-traders arise as companies speciﬁcally conceived to operate in this new environment. In the context of the development of electronic commerce, these ﬁrms are taking on a signiﬁcant role in the Internet in Europe. According to a study by the Spanish Association of Electronic Commerce (AECE–FECEMD, 2004), e-commerce in Spain moved 1.53 billion euros in 2003, 31.5 per cent more than in the previous year. Almost 40 per cent of the Spanish population is an Internet user, but only 20 per cent bought online products or services in 2002, which scarcely represents 7.3 per cent of the Spanish population. In Spain, the most active sectors are travel, electronics (including hardware and software) and food. However, the situation in Spain trails that of other European countries, not to mention the US. According to the Census Bureau of the US Department of Commerce (US Department of Commerce, 2004) the estimate of US retail e-commerce sales for the second quarter of 2004, not adjusted for seasonal, holiday or trading-day diﬀerences, was $15.7 billion, an increase of 23.1 per cent (Ϯ3.5 per cent) on the second quarter of 2003. In the US, online sales reached $114 billion in...
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