Startups in Times of Crisis – A Rapid Response to the COVID-19 Pandemic
Journal of Business Venturing Insights, 2020
39 Pages Posted: 21 Apr 2020
Date Written: April 20, 2020
Research summary: The discovery of the coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) and the spread of COVID-19 have led many governments to take drastic measures. The lockdown of large parts of society and economic life has come as an exogenous shock to many economic actors, not least innovative startups. This rapid response research combines a qualitative research design informed by entrepreneurial ecosystem actors with an analysis of policy measures called for, announced, and reportedly implemented in the international press. Interviews from an entrepre-neurial ecosystem offer a first-hand account of the adversity startups face during a crisis and how by utilizing bricolage responses they cope, and the analysis of policy measures can serve as an inspiration to design support initiatives to protect startups from the consequences of the current lockdown and to alleviate the effects of future crises.
Managerial summary: The lockdown measures as a response to the spread of the new corona-virus threaten the existence of many innovative startups. Our rapid response research first illus-trates the challenges entrepreneurs face as a consequence of the crisis. Second, we illustrate how entrepreneurs are dealing with the effects of the crisis and what they are doing to protect their ventures. Finally, we present measures that could be utilized by policymakers to assist entrepreneurs facing challenges. The research conducted suggests that while startups are suc-cessfully leveraging their available resources as a first response to the crisis, their growth and innovation potential are at risk. Therefore, policy measures should not only provide first aid to startups by alleviating the pressure caused by constrained cashflow, but also involve long-term measures embedded in and supported by the wider entrepreneurial ecosystem to ensure rapid recovery and growth.
Keywords: Bricolage, coronavirus, COVID-19, crisis, entrepreneurship, policy
JEL Classification: M13
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation