Date of Conferral



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




Deborah Nattress


Women business owners (WBOs) who experience natural disasters face significant challenges, such as disruption of business operations, damage, or detriment to infrastructure, decreased revenue, and low customer confidence. WBOs are concerned with business continuity and the social and economic impact of natural disasters in their communities. Grounded in the resource-based view and marketing entrepreneurship theories, the purpose of this qualitative multiple case study was to explore strategies WBOs of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) use to survive a natural disaster. The participants were four women SME owners in northeast Florida who implemented strategies to maintain business continuity during and after a natural disaster. Data were collected using semistructured interviews and a review of company websites. Through thematic analysis, four themes emerged: (a) technology, (b) government resources, (c) decision-making skills, and (d) community resources. Key recommendations are for WBOs to enhance their technological skills, identify the availability of local, state, and governmental resources, and increase their networking and social media presence before a natural disaster happens. The implications for positive social change include the potential to promote business growth within local communities.