Calls for papers: Boundary pushing innovative business models and entrepreneurial small businesses

Journal of Small Business and Enterprise Development 


Small business comprise the largest form of business and are considered critical in creating jobs, stimulating innovation and promoting entrepreneurial skills (Lobo et al, 2022). The importance of small business in economic development and in government policies in almost all countries is undeniable (Pletnev and Nikolaeva, 2019). However, small businesses are a dynamic and evolving population, with their own characteristics and outstanding characteristics. Generally, it is widely recognized that small businesses differ from their large corporate counterparts due to their size (Lohrke and Landstrom, 2016). Their small size brings them resource constraints (both human and financial) that end up influencing their essential skills and abilities (Zahra et al., 2006; Karmeni et al, 2022). Compared to larger companies, small business face challenges due to limited internal and external knowledge capabilities (Liu & Tang, 2019), small product ranges and market size, limited opportunities for economies of scale, informal organizational structures, leadership capabilities and limited strategies. capabilities (Andersén et al, 2015; Benyayer and Kupp, 2017). However, several researchers recognize that small size can result in competitive advantages as they can have greater flexibility, strategic agility, and also greater opportunities for innovation (Nooteboom, 1994, Vossen, 1998; Arbussa et al., 2017). Now, while it is widely recognized that the inherent characteristics of a company inevitably affect not only its ability to evolve, but also the design of its corresponding business model (Foss and Saebi, 2016), we also find that research to date the moment failed to consider holistically the heterogeneity of small business. On the other hand, there is difficult to conceptualize a business model for all small business. For example, young companies that experience rapid growth can have a considerable impact on job creation and productivity within local business ecosystems (Drnovsek, 2004), while small but mature companies can provide sustainable jobs by being a driving force behind growth in many OECD economies (Coltorti and Venanzi, 2017). We cannot forget that small business also include small and medium-sized family businesses that are part of competitive systems of local production, which generate incremental innovation and contribute to employment (Clinton et al. 2018). The incipient nature of research on small businesses’ business models across the spectrum of their diversity makes this topic timely for further consideration.

List of topic areas

  • How do existing business model concepts fit into small business?
  • What capabilities (internal, external, dynamic) are needed for small business to apply, modify, or innovate business models?
  • Are there configurations or ideal profiles of business models that suit small business best or unlock superior performance? What are their features?
  • What is the influence of the specific characteristics of small business in the adoption of a business model?
  • What is the influence of the entrepreneur’s profile on the type of business model adopted by small business?
  • What defines successful or unsuccessful small business when differentiating by type, for example, international, domestic, commercial or social oriented, or family small business?
  • To what extent do features of business models vary among family small business?
  • What role do next-generation leaders play in the business modeling of family small business?
  • What conditions drive business model change (or stability) in different types of small business?
  • How do small business attain and retain strategic agility? What different business models are created, followed, adapted and used at small business?
  • How these business models enhance small business entrepreneurship and competitive advantage?
  • What are the different theoretical models to study the business models of small business?
  • What are empirical studies of different business models?

Guest editors: Cristina I. Fernandes, Mathew (Mat) Hughes, Qilin Hu, Abderaouf Bouguerra, Boyka Simeonova

Key Deadlines:

Opening date for manuscripts submissions: 01 June 2023
Closing date for manuscripts submission: 30 October 2023

For more information and submission, please go to the journal’s website