COVID-19 pandemic and the small- and medium-sized enterprise: digital strategies for surviving in a developing economy

Eric Ansong, Charles Turkson

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Situation faced: Various restrictions were imposed to curb the spread of COVID-19. The owners of a small- and medium-sized enterprise (SME) in the food sector faced challenges that span from keeping their employees and customers safe, shoring-up cash and liquidity, reorienting operations to navigating complicated government support programs.

Action taken: The case SME in Ghana adopted several digital strategies that revolutionized their business model and ensured that revenue came in, keeping the business alive and strong. Some measures included enhanced social media engagements and introducing a mobile application (app) for online ordering of meals and making payments.

Results achieved: Adopting and implementing strategies utilizing digital technology brought considerable benefits to the SME even though the initial stages were marred with some challenges. One related organizational challenge was an organizational culture accustomed to manual service delivery procedures, hence hampering the smooth implementation of the digital strategies in the initial stages. But the digital strategies enabled the SME to remain profitable in the face of the challenges the COVID-19 pandemic created.

Lessons learned: Adoption of affordable and or low-cost digital tools – rather than buying expensive proprietary software – was one of the most important critical success factors in implementing digital strategies. The willingness of the staff – their desire for change and the cordial relationship among them – was very crucial in innovation implementation. Electronic payment channels such as mobile money services supported the SME’s digital strategies. Also, their collaboration with strategic partners in the downstream supply chain enhanced their operational efficiency.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationDigital Innovations, Business and Society in Africa
Subtitle of host publicationNew Frontiers and a Shared Strategic Vision
EditorsRichard Boateng, Sheena Lovia Boateng, Thomas Anning-Dorson, Longe Olumide Babatope
Place of PublicationCham
Number of pages13
ISBN (Electronic)978-3-030-77987-0
ISBN (Print)978-3-030-77989-4
Publication statusPublished - 2022

Publication series

NameAdvances in Theory and Practice of Emerging Markets
ISSN (Print)2522-5006
ISSN (Electronic)2522-5014


  • COVID-19 pandemic
  • Digital strategies
  • SMEs
  • Food sector


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