Date of Conferral



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




Janet M. Booker


Small and medium enterprises (SMEs) contribute to economic development and create 80% of the jobs in Nigeria. However, 80% of SMEs are not sustained beyond 5 years. Grounded in stakeholder theory, the purpose of this qualitative multiple case study was to explore strategies SME owners used to sustain their businesses beyond 5 years. Three SME owners who have sustained their businesses over 5 years in the Southwest region of Nigeria were purposefully selected to participate in this study. Data were collected through semistructured interviews and other business documents. Thematic analysis was used to analyze the data using comparison method, and 7 themes were generated: leadership and entrepreneurial skills, financial management practices, positive work environment, fostering customer satisfaction and loyalty, a business community in line with sustainable development goals, maintaining long term relationships with stakeholders, and innovation management that gives social, economic, and environmental values to stakeholders. Key recommendations include having SME owners identify their internal and external stakeholders and getting involved in operations sustainability strategies that give economic, social, and environmental values to all the stakeholders. Positive social change based on the study’s findings include providing social, economic, and environmental values to stakeholders of an SME could enhance their sustainability over 5 years in Nigeria.