Date of Conferral



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




Jaime Klein


AbstractSmall business failures impede entrepreneurs' sustainability in localities, the state, and the U.S. economy. Small business entrepreneurs are concerned about strategies to target and minimize obstacles from business inception for business survival because the failure rate increases as the business develop. Grounded in the entrepreneurial theory, the purpose of this qualitative multiple case study was to explore strategies for small business entrepreneur sustainability beyond five years. Participants comprised three small business owners in Southeast Virginia who effectively used strategies to sustain their business beyond five years. Data were collected from semistructured interviews, analysis of participants’ business documentation, and research of relevant business websites. Thematic analysis and Yin’s 5-step approach were used to analyze the data. Four themes emerged: strategic planning for business sustainability, experience and education, adequate financial resources, and networking. A key recommendation for small business owners is to formulate prestartup and long-term strategies that address the opportunities, risks, and goals that could increase small business sustainability beyond 5 years. The implications for positive social change include the potential for small business owners to increase the employment rate and garner additional taxes for the local and state government, leading to improved residents' quality of life. An increase in the survival rate could also motivate additional investors and individuals to invest in small business ownership.