Innovative Approach to Managing Small and Medium Scale Enterprises in the Covid-19 Era and Beyond: A Systematic Review

Mirhiga Peter Okuwhere, Simon Ayo Adekunle

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Countries of the world have used Small and Medium-Scale Enterprises (SMEs) and entrepreneurship to build a vibrant economy to reduce unemployment and poverty. The paper systematically reviewed innovative approaches developed and deployed in managing SMEs during and after the COVID-19 pandemic. SMEs encounter business problems during and after COVID-19, especially in developing countries, where the business environment is challenging and seemingly not favourable for businesses operating at a small or medium scale. For them to cope successfully in the COVID-19 era and beyond, there is a need for innovative approaches to managing their core business areas to guarantee the enterprises' sustainability and profitability in stimulating economic growth. Based on this, this study critically reviews innovative ways of managing SMEs' core business activities. The study reviewed twenty-one (21) significant papers out of nine hundred and thirteen (913) peer-reviewed articles through a theoretical perception systematic literature review (SLR). Our findings reveal how SMEs could use innovative approaches to manage business operations and activities during and after the pandemic. It showed a resilience strategy for SMEs to endure challenges. Also, the study presented a knowledge-based plan for SMEs to survive similar circumstances in future. It is expected that the research outcomes will serve as a guide in organising result-oriented training, workshop, and seminars for SMEs' operators, as well as providing a result-oriented training framework for students in tertiary institutions. This paper raises awareness of SMEs' innovative management approach as a tool to adapt during and after COVID-19. Finally, the propositions provided could be empirically investigated in future studies.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)21-40
Number of pages20
JournalJournal of Family Business & Management Studies
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2023

Bibliographical note

Journal of Family Business and Management Studies (FBMS) is an Open Access Journal which does not charge an article processing charge (APC), or any publication fee.


  • COVID-19
  • Innovation
  • SLR
  • SMEs
  • Sustainability


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