Date of Conferral



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


Business Administration


Janie Hall


In Ethiopia, some small retail business owners (SRBOs) embark on initiatives without adequate preparation, which results in a risk of failure within the first three years. Grounded in the conceptual frameworks of resource-based views, dynamic-capabilities views, and relational views, the purpose of this qualitative multiple case study was to explore strategies used by SRBOs leaders to survive and grow beyond three years. The participants were four SRBOs from Ethiopia who succeeded in business for more than three years. Data were collected from semistructured interviews, company documents, observations, notes from data sources and analyzed using Yin’s 5-step data analysis process. Six themes emerged: business-centric knowledge, entrepreneurial skills, relationships and networking, innovation and creativity, customer-centric approach, and support system. A key recommendation for SRBOs is to develop strategies through business-centric knowledge to succeed. The implications for a positive social change include the potential for SRBOs to stimulate economic growth by creating jobs and generating income for the Ethiopian citizens and providing an expanded government infrastructure with increased tax revenues.