Date of Conferral



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




Susan K. Fan


Zimbabwe's entrepreneur owners of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) comprise approximately 94% of business owners but contribute only 50% of the country's gross domestic product. Entrepreneur owners play an important role in strengthening Zimbabwe's economy because they create approximately 60% to 80% of employment opportunities. The purpose of this multiple case study was to explore the strategies owners of SME in Zimbabwe use to sustain their businesses. The population consisted of 5 owners of SMEs who have successfully implemented the strategies to sustain their businesses for over 5 years. The general systems theory was the conceptual framework of the study. Data were collected using semistructured interviews and review of company financial documents. Member checking and methodological triangulation were used to enhance the credibility and trustworthiness of the findings of the study. The data analysis process was conducted using Yin's 5-phases of qualitative data analysis. Four themes emerged from data analysis, including passion and dedication, quality of products and services, customer satisfaction, and employing staff with the right skills. The results of the study could lead to positive social change for SMEs and the communities by helping owners of SME to create growth strategies, increase revenues for the country, and create long-term employment opportunities for the communities. The findings from the study could catalyze positive social change by improving workforce capabilities, creating awareness of the success of entrepreneurs in Zimbabwe, and increasing the interest of financial institutions in lending to SMEs.