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Repurposing entrepreneurial recovery strategies employed by small, medium, and micro enterprises during the covid19 pandemic within eThekwini municipality.

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The purpose of this study was to examine and evaluate SMMEs’ entrepreneurial recovery, and strategies they could adopt to sustain themselves during this COVID-19 pandemic crisis. The novel coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has caused a major shock in the world economy. Control measures to limit the spread of the virus have substantially weakened the economic systems in many countries, including South Africa. This pandemic has resulted in ‘lockdowns’, which have paralyzed entire sectors (travel, tourism, retail, production, and distribution chains) and global economic systems, leading to an economic crisis affecting millions of people and thousands of businesses (UNDP 2020). Small, Medium, and Micro Enterprises (SMMEs) appear to be the most affected. Some analysts are predicting that around 60% of SMMEs may close before the crisis is over. The methodology chosen for this study was qualitative-oriented, and the associated research design acted as the research blueprint for data collection and strategy. The study selected different small businesses in the eThekwini municipality area in the province of KwaZulu-Natal. Participating firms were small businesses that have experienced a significant impact from the current COVID-19 outbreak and measures. The sample size consisted of 15 participants selected from registered business entities. To avoid face-to-face contact and follow COVID-19 protocol and regulations, the research was mostly conducted with the business owner or management representative. The aim of this research is to identify the key findings for the situation of SMMEs, and their recovery strategies during this socioeconomic shock. The research findings highlight that majority of respondents in this study, had difficulties financing their companies, the monthly loss was experienced, and a huge drop was observed the respondents. The decline in their business activity and operation was also due to the regulatory closure of establishments, as a result of the Disaster Management Act. The research found that most SMMES have managed to put in place recovery strategies to survive and resist the economic downturn, but others also had to close their business – often permanently. The research also highlights the recommendations for further research.


Master’s Degree. University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban.