South African SMMEs have been adversely affected by the Coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19). The country, before the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic was already in a downward economic spiral; the lockdown exacerbated the financial challenges faced by the country and its people. Recent surveys of entrepreneurs across country indicate that 86% of SMMEs do not know where to go to access government COVID-19 relief funding. The survey further reveals that 87% of SMMEs are unable to run their businesses from home and, therefore, cannot support themselves and their families during the lockdown period. Given that SMMEs are a key part of the country’s plan to rebuild and accelerate economic growth, the impact of COVID-19 on small businesses needs to be considered within the context of support, recovery and revitalisation strategies. Against this background the Faculty of Economic and Management Science at the University of the Western Cape hosted a two-part Webinar series on Small Business Development. The first Webinar focussed on the lockdown stories of small business owners, its effect on their businesses, how they responded and sources of support needed. Key questions that guided their stories revolved around three major themes. These include:

1. How has the pandemic affected your business, your family and, ultimately, you as an entrepreneur?

2. Has the pandemic influenced your thinking about your business idea and possibilities to innovate and recreate?

3. What kinds of support is necessary to enable you to continue your business idea post-COVID?

The second Webinar focussed on solutions and support to small business owners. The panel comprised of a cross section of stakeholders from government, corporate and academia. Some of the questions that were probed include:

1. What kinds of support (beyond financial relief) is being considered to small businesses that may have collapsed under lockdown conditions, especially support to female entrepreneurs and those who are the sole breadwinners in their families?

2. What about those who do not qualify for the relief package or who may have slipped through the cracks and not applied?

3. What about business owners who have lost confidence in their abilities as entrepreneurs?

4. How are universities such as the UWC, with its focus on being engaged with the community, engaging in the challenges that confront Small business owners?

5. What advice can be given to Small Business owners about the post-COVID entrepreneurial context?

Therefore, the purpose of this Special Issue is twofold:

(1) capture the lived experiences that small businesses encountered during the time of COVID-19 as well as its impact on business sustainability and

(2) to identify solutions with key stakeholders from various sectors on support top Small Businesses.

Your paper should focus on documenting the impact on SMME and to highlight the institutional support provided to sustain Small Businesses.

Deadline and Submission Details

• Submission of topics and abstracts (up to 250 words): 11 December 2020

• Notification of acceptance of topics and abstracts: 15 December 2020

• Deadline for submission of full papers: 15 January 2021

• Blind peer review process and corrections: January 2021

• Publication: February 2021 Submission Options

• Send your abstract/ paper as an email attachment to

• Online submission via the journal’s website: Author Guidelines To view the author guidelines for this journal, please visit:

Contact the Guest Editors

Dr Gregory Davids University of the Western Cape, South Africa

Lisle Svenson, University of the Western Cape, South Africa

Jurina Nkazi University of the Western Cape, South Africa


OFFICE Editors:

Prof. R. Shambare

Prof. Z. Nyandoro

Editorial Assistant

Zikhona Dlabatshana

Journal of Entrepreneurial Innovations

School of Business & Finance

Office 3.34.4

EMS Building

University of the Western Cape

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Bellville, 7535

South Africa

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