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The impact of Covid-19 on struggling ethnic minority entrepreneurs' business strategy: the case of Bangladeshi curry houses in the United Kingdom

B M Razzak (Guildhall School of Business and Law, London Metropolitan University, London, UK)
Bochra Idris (Aston Business School, Aston University, Birmingham, UK)
Rahaman Hasan (Department of Business, London Churchill College, London, UK)
George Saridakis (Kent Business School, Kent University, Kent, UK)
Jared M. Hansen (Jon M. Huntsman School of Business, Utah State University, Logan, Utah, USA)

International Journal of Entrepreneurial Behavior & Research

ISSN: 1355-2554

Article publication date: 13 July 2023

Issue publication date: 6 October 2023

277

Abstract

Purpose

This paper outlines ways in which struggling ethnic minority entrepreneurial service ventures and their owners might respond to unforeseen economic and social shocks. Interviews with owners of Bangladeshi Curry Houses in the United Kingdom — whom historically have lower performance rates compared to other ethnic minority businesses in the country — reveal that the entrepreneurs' response strategies undertaken to survive and remain in the business despite the challenges faced from operating in a turbulence environment.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors conducted depth phone interviews with owners of Bangladeshi Curry Houses in London during January and February of 2021. The Gioia methodology was applied to the interview scripts to identify which crisis themes exist.

Findings

Despite no advanced educational training, Bangladeshi owners have applied all of the different crisis management techniques present in larger companies: retrenchment, persevering, innovation, and exit. Although the results show that government schemes aimed at helping small businesses have contributed significantly to their survival, concerns regarding the post-health crisis situation remain challenging and threatening for their growth and survivability.

Originality/value

The results indicates that the ethnic minority owned small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are less likely to plan for the future operations; furthermore, they tend not to have formulated a strategy for dealing with an external shock hence affecting and threatening their performance and competitiveness in the marketplace.

Keywords

Citation

Razzak, B.M., Idris, B., Hasan, R., Saridakis, G. and Hansen, J.M. (2023), "The impact of Covid-19 on struggling ethnic minority entrepreneurs' business strategy: the case of Bangladeshi curry houses in the United Kingdom", International Journal of Entrepreneurial Behavior & Research, Vol. 29 No. 8, pp. 1837-1866. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJEBR-05-2021-0389

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2023, Emerald Publishing Limited

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