Dynamic Scope of Entrepreneurial Ecosystem, SME Resilience and the future of Business post-COVID-19 in Africa


  • Joseph Omondi Oketch




Micro Small and Mediums enterprises (MSMEs) in Africa have experinced a major economic setbacks associated with the novel corona virus pandemic. Several enterprises have had to close down while others still struggle to bounce back to normalcy. The quest for a return to normalcy in the wake of the uncertain entrepreneurial eco-system has ushered the need for reimagining, reinventing and repositioning businesses despite the pandemic, hence the rationale for a paradigm shift from business survival to thriving to withstand the harsh realities of the pandemic. Thus, the purpose of this review was to examine the dynamic scope of entrepreneurial ecosystem and SME resilience while imagining the future of business post-COVID-19 in Africa. The study entailed a detailed empirical review of published scholarly resources, credible peer reviewed journal articles and resources which were obtained from organizational databases and platforms, guided by Isenberg’s model of entrepreneurial ecosystem. The empirical review results were further discussed in details and perspectives on the future of business post-COVID provided. Notably, the study recommends: appropriate policy mechanisms that seek to create a more conducive and inclusive entrepreneurial ecosystem to support innovation, re-invention, business resilience and sustainable economic growth; right leadership, resources, digitalization technologies and business strategies that permit creative disruption while safeguarding scale-up opportunities; forward-looking support systems, and responsive entrepreneurship policy and regulations that address unique challenges and opportunities that emanate from the COVID-19 crisis.

Keywords: Entrepreneurial Ecosystem, SME Resilience, Future of Business, COVID-19, Africa


African Union Development Agency - NEPAD. (2020). Harnessing Innovation and Emerging Technologies to Address the Impact of COVID-19 in Africa. African Union High Level Panel on Emerging Technologies.

Audretsch, D. B., Belitski, M., & Cherkas, N. (2021). Entrepreneurial Ecosystems in Cities: The Role of Institutions. PLoS ONE, 16(3): e0247609. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0247609.

Canter, U., Cunningham, J. A., Lehmann, E. E., & Menter, M. (2021). Entrepreneurial Ecosystems: a dynamic lifecycle model. Small Bus Econ , 57: 407 - 423. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11187-020-00316-0.

Castro, M. P., & Zermeno, M. G. G. (2020). Being an Entrepreneur post-COVID-19- resilience in times of Crisis: A Systematic Literature Review. Journal of Entrepreneurship in Emerging Economies, https://doi.org/10.1108/JEEE-07-2020-0246.

Cuyper, L. D., Kucukkeles, B., & Reuben, R. (2021, August 27). Discovering the Real Impact of COVID-19 on Entrepreneurship. Retrieved from World Economic Forum: https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2020/06/how-covid-19-will-change-entrepreneurial- business/

Ganum, P., & Thakoor, V. (2021). Post-Covid-19 Recovery and Resilience: Leveraging Reforms for Growth and Inclusion in Sub-Saharan Africa. IMF Working Paper: African Department Strategy, Policy and Review Department, WP/21/45. https://doi.org/10.5089/9781513570044.001

Gregurec, I., Furjan, M. T., & Tomicic-Pupek, K. (2021). The Impact of COVID-19 on sustainable business models in SMEs. Sustainability, 13, 1098. . https://doi.org/10.3390/su13031098.

Hartwick, F., & Isaksson, A. (2020). Policy response to COVID-19 - Supporting African Industry through the Pandemic. United Nations Industrial Development Organization, 1-33.

Isenberg, D. (2011). The Entrepreneurial Ecosystem Strategy as a new Paradigm for Economy, Policy: Principles for cultivating entrepreneurship, Babson Entrepreneurship Ecosystem Project. . Babson College, Babson Park:MA.

Kampel, K. (2020). COVID-19 and Tourism: Charting a Sustainable, Resilient Recovery for Small States. The Commonwealth, Issue 163, 1-13.

Kapur, M., Dawar, S., & Ahuja, V. R. (2014). Emerging Markets: Unlocking the Wealth in Rural Markets. Harvard Business Review, https://hbr.org/2014/06/unlocking-the-wealth-in- rural-markets.

Mason, C., & Brown, R. (2014). Entrepreneurial Ecosystem and Growth Oriented Entrepreneurship. Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development.

OECD. (2021, September 06). Policy Responses. Retrieved from One Year of SME and Entrepreneurship Policy Responses to COVID-19: Lessons Learned to "Build Back Better": https://www.oecd.org/coronavirus/policy-responses/one-year-of-sme-and- entrepreneurship-policy-responses-to-covid-19-lessons-learned-to-build-back-better- 9a230220/

Ratten, V. (2021). COVID-19 and Entrepreneurship: Challenges and Opportunities for Small Businesses. Australia: Routledge. https://doi.org/10.4324/9781003149248

Sneader, K., & Sternfels, B. (2021, August 25). From Surviving to Thriving: Reimagining the post- COVID-19 return. Retrieved from McKinsey & Company: https://www.mckinsey.com/featured-insights/future-of-work/from-surviving-to-thriving- reimagining-the-post-covid-19-return

Spigel, B. (2017). The Relational Organization of Entrepreneurial Ecosystems. Enterpreneurship Theory and Practice, vol. 4, Issue I, pp. 49-72. https://doi.org/10.1111/etap.12167




How to Cite

Oketch, J. O. (2022). Dynamic Scope of Entrepreneurial Ecosystem, SME Resilience and the future of Business post-COVID-19 in Africa. Journal of Entrepreneurship & Project Management, 6(1), 70–77. https://doi.org/10.53819/81018102t2053