Izvestiya of Saratov University.

Economics. Management. Law

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ISSN 2542-1956 (Online)

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Makarova E. L., Abimbola T. S., Seriki O. O. The influence of Covid-19 on small and medium sized enterprises’ managerial activities in Nigeria: A qualitative impact assessment. Journal Izvestiya of Saratov University. Economics. Management. Law, 2022, vol. 22, iss. 2, pp. 160-168. DOI: 10.18500/1994-2540-2022-22-2-160-168

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The influence of Covid-19 on small and medium sized enterprises’ managerial activities in Nigeria: A qualitative impact assessment

Makarova Elena Lvovna, Southern Federal University
Abimbola Temitope Shegun, Southern Federal University
Seriki Oluvasegun Oluvaseyi, Technological University Dublin

Introduction. The influence of Covid-19 is yet to be measured across many economies of the world, as many countries are still grappling with the eff ects of diff erent variants of the virus within its economy. However, within Nigeria, life is mostly returning back to normal with all restrictions removed and businesses seeking to get back to pre-pandemic activity levels. Theoretical analysis. Researchers within the business sector in Nigeria have now begun conducting an impact assessment of the pandemic on businesses that were active during the pandemic, in order to understand how these fi rms’ attained resilience, the problems they faced and how the lessons learned can be curated for management consulting. Methodology.The paper refl ected a qualitative enquiry into the impact of Covid-19 on selected small businesses in the business and fi nancial hub of Nigeria. Using data obtained from ten businesses and fi ve business experts in Lagos, Nigeria, this paper outlined the key themes of how the pandemic impacted the business of small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) in Nigeria. The study adopted a qualitative, semi-structured interview tool for data collection, convenience sampling and thematic analysis as the approach to data analysis. The data was presented across themes and using fi gures/tables. Results. The paper presented three main themes of impact within these small businesses, namely structural, strategic and fi nancial impacts. These three themes form the main areas where the businesses were aff ected and the paper explores the themes on a macro and micro level, presenting both the positive and negative impact that the pandemic had on businesses. The results cover small businesses in Nigeria mainly, but the fi ndings can be applied to other contexts within Africa or developing nations with similar political and economic environments such as Nigeria. The study found that fi nancial impact was the most critical and common issue presented by small businesses to have aff ected their businesses, especially the issues of income loss and HR related costs. Under the structural impact, business closures due to lockdowns were a prominent issue that arose, with the closure impacting fi rms selling physical products and tourism-focused businesses mostly. Logistical issues were also a critical structural challenge raised, with the impact of reverse logistics being something that negatively impacted a lot of businesses. Сonclusion. It was mentioned in terms of strategic impacts, the lack of government support in terms of policy was a critical issue highlighted amidst a myriad of learning points that will be crucial for future policy and strategizing for SMEs.

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