SME Resilience to Covid-19

Insights from Non-Essential Service Providers in Nairobi


  • Eltigani Ahmed PAC University
  • James Kilika School of Business, Kenyatta University
  • Clare Gakenia School of Leadership, Business and Technology, Pan Africa Christian



SME resilience, Covid-19, non-Essential service providers, Systemic disruptive events, Resource Orchestration


The theory of dynamic resource orchestration explains the differentiated response of homogeneous ecosystem organizations to systemic disruptive shocks. The Covid-19 precautionary measures in Kenya have exempted some essential service providers and government agencies, resulting in a differentiated Covid-19 impact across the national SMEs landscape. This article adopted an extractive thematic analysis technique to draw insights from in-depth interviews and discussions with owners and managers of 6 broad-range SMEs considered non-essential services providers excluded from the Covid-19 cessation of movement waiver. The article advanced insights on SMEs' resilience through dynamic resource orchestration capability. It sought to establish whether the possession and orchestration of dynamic resources capabilities differentiated highly resilient SMEs from non-resilient ones. The article identified business diversification, slack finance, intra-stakeholder collaboration, self-reinvention, positive psychology, technology leverage, and cost management as precursory resilience agents within Kenyan SMEs. Research gaps were identified, and recommendations for future research were proposed.


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How to Cite

Ahmed, E., Kilika, J., & Gakenia, C. (2021). SME Resilience to Covid-19: Insights from Non-Essential Service Providers in Nairobi. International Journal of Finance & Banking Studies (2147-4486), 10(4), 24–39.