Date of Conferral



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




Alexandre Lazo


AbstractAccording to the Cameroon Ministry of Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) constitute 99.8% of companies, employ over 70% of the active population, and contribute significantly to economic growth and development. However, less than 25% of new SMEs in Cameroon survive beyond 3 years. Sustainability is essential to small business owners in exporting coffee from Cameroon as an indicator of economic growth and job creation. The purpose of this qualitative multiple case study guided by the transaction cost economics theory was to explore strategies owners of small businesses exporting coffee from Cameroon use to sustain business beyond the first 3 years of operation. The participants included four small business owners in Cameroon exporting coffee from Cameroon who sustained businesses beyond 3 years. These small business owners participated in semistructured individual interviews conducted virtually. Yin’s 5-step process for data analysis revealed four themes: control of the coffee production chain, partnership, trade agreements benefices, and lowering transaction costs. The key recommendations for small business owners exporting coffee from Cameroon include focusing on controlling the supply chain coffee production, creating and building solid partnerships, harnessing the benefits of trade agreements, and working on reducing transaction costs. The implications for positive social change include the potential to increase the survival rate of SMEs, leading to job creation and improved living standards in local communities.