others became less of a challenge? We proceeded in comparing the scores of each challenge to track signifcant changes.
It reveals that the Human Resources challenge became very critical, as well as the clarity of implementation measures and the access to Finance as well as Business Continuity Plans. This is mostly logic within the Pandemic context that imposed itself on those SMEs. For instance, the drastic Human Resources related measures and policies revealed itself to be very important within the prevailing COVID-19 phase. Similarly, the importance of clarity and consistency in confnement measures / hours of functioning / curfew / measures to be implemented to close down and to reopen etc. Access to Finance, changed its ranking from top 4th to top 2nd most important challenge to address within the pandemic. Also, the importance of Business Continuity Plans rises as one of the critical challenges to address quickly during the pandemic of the COVID-19, indicating that African SMEs recognize this as an important tool to master and be prepared / equipped with in face of the contextual tribulations. he Internet was the second least important before the pandemic, and now, it becomes very crucial for most respondents pointing to how far the African SMEs are subject to digital transformations.
Figure 3.16: Shift in SMEs Challenges
Most Afected Businesses
The submitted applications showed that most afected businesses are the one that were founded in 2019. This is due to high instability and risk associated with the frst year of operation along with the spread of COVID-19 and the associated lockdown. More than 60% from the afected enterprises were founded between 2018 to 2020.
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