SMEs and Humane Entrepreneurship: helping to overcome the COVID-19 pandemic


COVID-19 pandemic, humane entrepreneurship; small-to-medium-sized firms

How to Cite

Dana, L.-P., Del Baldo, M., & Dumay, J. (2023). SMEs and Humane Entrepreneurship: helping to overcome the COVID-19 pandemic. Piccola Impresa Small Business, (1).


Purpose. The dynamics of change in today's global economy call for a renewed look at entrepreneurship. This editorial provides an overview on the contributions included in a thematic issue aimed to investigate humane entrepreneurship in the context of small-to-medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).

Design/methodology/approach. New socio-economic issues, greater emphasis on environmental priorities, and extraordinary circumstances, like the COVID-19 pandemic, have seen academics conceptualize a novel approach to entrepreneurship based on human development and management. Accordingly, the review of studies grounded on different theoretical, methodological and empirical approaches allows to explore how SMEs contribute to humanistic management and entrepreneurship and understand how socially responsible behaviors by SMEs can promote strategic business initiatives to combat a crisis and alleviate its effects.

Findings. Research on more sustainable, values-based business models for SMEs offers scholars and professionals insights into the strengths and weaknesses of implementing and operationalizing humane entrepreneurship in SMEs that can help mitigate and overcome the impact of economic downturns and tackle complex problems.

Practical and Social implications. The analysis points out interesting theoretical and empirical perspectives on the new orientations for SMEs made available by humane entrepreneurship and highlights how their leadership and business models might provide a way to help both people and enterprises become engines for social and environmental change. Moreover, it highlights the drivers behind an SME’s ability to cope with systemic crises, the values central to a humanistic orientation in SMEs, how humane entrepreneurship can enhance virtuous behaviors, and the results one might expect after implementing responsible policies and actions.

Originality of the study. The study contributes to advance a field’s theoretical understanding  that is still underinvestigated and helps elicit and broaden the discussion on humane entrepreneurship as it pertains to SMEs.


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Copyright (c) 2023 Léo-Paul Dana, Mara Del Baldo, John Dumay