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Entrepreneurship after COVID-19 : an assessment of the short- and


Sahasranamam, Sreevas and Stephan, Ute and Zbierowski, Przemyslaw (2021) Entrepreneurship after COVID-19 : an assessment of the short- and long-term consequences for Indian small business. [Report] (

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The COVID-19 pandemic has affected all walks of human life be it economic, health, social or mental well-being. The nationwide lock-down for over two months and subsequent easing of restrictions over multiple months in 2020 has put significant stress on the Indian Micro-Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs), which contribute nearly one-third of India’s GDP. This report discusses insights from a survey of Indian small business entrepreneurs that captured their situation during the COVID-19 pandemic. We assess both the short- and long-term consequences and opportunities for Indian entrepreneurs, posed by the pandemic. We also notice that entrepreneurs have contributed beyond the economic considerations of the business, through volunteering their time and services for societal causes during the pandemic. We also compare the response of Indian entrepreneurs with their Asian peers from Bangladesh, China and Pakistan. The study reflects on four long terms trends for post-COVID economy related to digitization, multi-sectoral collaboration, localization and the prominence of inclusive business. In sum, there is a significant role for the MSME sector in enabling a sustainable and inclusive post-COVID recovery, and to support India’s ambition towards a USD 5 trillion economy by 2025, especially if the sector is enabled by targeted support measures. Finally, we discuss three cases of Indian entrepreneurs that exemplify the challenges and opportunities posed by the COVID-19 pandemic.


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