We are experiencing good or even extraordinary recoveries from the financial and economic crisis in some parts of the word. On the other hand, for some countries it seems that the crisis is by far not over, since they are still struggling with high unemployment, credit crunches and poor economic growth.
Additional uncertainty in financial markets is causing trouble in the Eurozone (Greece , Portugal and Ireland). It seems that the domino effect is continuing due to information about potential troubles in Italy and Spain . On the other side of the Atlantic , the USA have managed “just before noon ” to reach an agreement about the acceptable debt ceiling. However, Standard & Poor’s has downgraded the USA ’s credit rating for the first time.
At the same time Japan is still recovering from the disaster of the tsunami and its consequences on nuclear power plants. NATO is still involved in a military operation in Libya , while in other countries of Maghreb and Mashrek – where the majority of the demonstrations in 2011 took place – a lot of uncertainty is still in the air.
As even the big players (states and multinationals) are having trouble tackling all of these changes and events, how do small players manage amidst all of this confusion? Have small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) been affected more heavily by the crisis than the big players?
We know that in many cases, governments entered the scene in order to assist the big players through various measures. These organisations were simply “too big” and could have taken a lot of other groups down with them. A new saying was coined on the stock market: “If you owe the bank 100 EUR it’s your problem; but if you owe the bank 100 million EUR, it’s the bank’s problem.” Were SMEs forgotten in this situation, or at least pushed down to second place?
The time of crisis is a time of struggling for survival, and the strongest usually win. But were the big players strongest, or were the SMEs stronger due to their flexibility? Was size and flexibility actually a predisposition that helped SMEs in the time of crisis, or was it in fact a problem, since flexibility also suggests vulnerability?
After the rain there is usually sunshine. When we consider the time of the crisis, we should also focus on the time after and even beyond that. Even in these unpredictable circumstances, when some of the leading papers and journals are speaking of “Time for a double dip?” (The Economist) and “ Mission impossible: stop another recession (Financial Times)”, some countries are recording two digit economic growth (Qatar, Singapore, Taiwan, India and China).
What does this mean for SMEs? Are they prepared for another potential recession? Are SMEs actually even more prepared for another period of “hard times” than the big players, due to their experience in 2008-2009? And what of the SMEs in the emerging markets?
Both theoretical and research papers are welcome. Suitable topics include, but are not limited to:
- Credit crunch, liquidity troubles and SMEs
- SMEs and the crisis
- Governmental measures for entrepreneurship in the crisis
- Preparations of SMEs for the time of severe economic conditions
- The paradigm “think small first” in the time of the crisis
- SMEs, crisis, global reactions
- Crisis management
Submission of extended abstracts (max. 500 words): 1 December, 2011
Notification of acceptance of abstracts: 27 December, 2011
Submission of full papers following acceptance of abstracts: 15 July, 2012
Notification of acceptance, refusal or revision of full papers: 1 September, 2012
Submission of accepted and revised final papers: 1 October, 2012