The opportunities of SMEs in the context of digital business : A qualitative study in the COVID-19 era

University essay from Uppsala universitet/Företagsekonomiska institutionen

Abstract: Research Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to identify the opportunities that COVID-19 crisis has created for SMEs, in particular those involving digital technologies. I also describe and how SMEs can improve their functionality, efficiency accessibility and sales by using these technologies for internationalization. Research Questions:  What international business opportunities do digitized SME’s find in the covid-19 lockdown? Methodology: This study is followed by qualitative research and inductive approach. The data collection was done by semi-structured online interviews. Ten people running small and medium-sized businesses are the convenience sample of the study. Findings: For the advancement of several digital platforms, SMEs are continuing their international operations during COVID 19 pandemic. Many SMEs forced to go online during the pandemic, which also helps them become global players. By utilizing social media, online payment platforms, online e-commerce marketplaces, regular SMEs are now converting as digital businesses. By adopting digital technology, SMEs are now able to work smoother than before by having new functionality, efficiency and accessibility. SMEs that involved with the digital business from long ago are also experiencing noticeable growth during the pandemic. On the other hand, some SMEs are also suffering as their overall business operation get interrupted by the pandemic.   Research Limitations: The total number of interviewed respondents was only 10 due to the limitation of time scope and all of the interview done online. A larger study sample with physical interview are a possible direction of future work. 

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