Date of Conferral



Doctor of Business Administration (D.B.A.)


Business Administration


Peter Anthony


The networking relationships provided by microenterprise development (MED) organizations foster sustainable and scalable Bulgarian small businesses. Some Bulgarian MED leaders lack the strategies to help sustain small businesses in Bulgaria. Guided by the actor network theory, the purpose of this case study was to explore the strategies MED leaders use to help sustain small businesses in Bulgaria. Data were collected through a semistructured focus group comprised of MED Bulgarian business leaders (n = 4) in Rhodope Mountain Region and company data consisting of financial reports, marketing presentations, and company business plan. The data analysis included using keyword frequency comparisons, coding techniques, and cluster analysis. Three themes emerged from the findings: access to financial and nonfinancial capital, networking and relationships, and sustainability and scalability. According to the study results, strategies and scalability impede the ability to expand and service more small business owners. The recommended change in business practices of MED leaders included the formalization of networks of other MED leaders and partner organizations to efficiently meet the demands of the Bulgarian small business market. The implications for social change include the need for networks to aid entrepreneurs in gaining market access, obtaining capital resources, and maintaining sustainability that contributes to the economic and social development of Bulgaria.