How Social Capital Activates Entrepreneurial Orientation, Access to Government support policies, and SMEs Performance in an Emerging Market Amidst Covid-19

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Solomon Gbene Zaato, Mohammad Ismail, Sathiswaran Uthamaputhran, Roselina Ahmad Saufi, Kiran Kumar Thoti , Wilberforce Owusu-Ansah, Joseph Owusu


In a crisis like Covid-19, SME/firms' ability to execute business activities via internal and external social capital networks would undoubtedly boost their entrepreneurial orientation (EO), access to support, and enhance performance. This study bridges the gap on how social capital activates SMEs entrepreneurial orientation, access to government support policies (GSPs), and performance in emerging markets amidst Covid-19. We received questionnaires from 369 firm-owners via a simple sampling technique, and the data was analyzed using PLS-SEM software. The findings show that social capital, access to government assistance policies, and proactiveness influence SME performance, but not innovation or risk-taking. Similarly, social capital significantly impacts access to GSPs, innovativeness, proactiveness, and risk-taking. The study resonates with the need for firms to focus more on their social capital and utilize it to devise strategies to enhance their chances of attaining support from the government, friends, relations, and other institutions to augment their EO and performance during and after this Covid-19 pandemic. Our study's novelty is also that it expanded the use of the social capital and resource base view theories of SMEs in developing countries, particularly in pandemics. Finally, we provided suggestions for SME-owners, policymakers, and further researchers.


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