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Social commerce affordances for female entrepreneurship: the case of Facebook


Social media have provided individuals with the opportunity to sell and buy products without a third-party mediation. This type of social commerce gained popularity in developing countries, becoming an opportunity for female entrepreneurs’ economic development amid multifarious patriarchal institutional barriers. This study proposes the affordances concept as analytical lens to better understand how these female digital subsistence entrepreneurs use social media features to develop their business. Empirical evidence is provided by analyzing a group of women in a developing country that has used Facebook as their marketplace. Findings illustrate how different affordances emerge to achieve participants’ progressive entrepreneurial goals, as well as the technological features that support them. These findings contribute to theory and practice of electronic markets by providing a comprehensive understanding of digital subsistence entrepreneurs’ interaction with social media features for entrepreneurial purposes.

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  1. Past research suggests that when data are new, unique and rare, valuable contributions can be achieved even with small size samples (Thompson et al., 1989).

  2. It is worth mentioning that WhatsApp and Facebook are offered in zero rating programs by most mobile carriers in Colombia (Pautasio, 2019).


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Correspondence to Andrés Barrios.

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Responsible Editor: Reima Suomi

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Camacho, S., Barrios, A. Social commerce affordances for female entrepreneurship: the case of Facebook. Electron Markets 32, 1145–1167 (2022).

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  • Social media
  • Female entrepreneurs
  • affordances
  • Marketing activities
  • Developing country

JEL classifications

  • L26
  • J16