Blessing or Curse: Converting COVID-19 Experience to Entrepreneurial Opportunity Identification

Odebunmi Abayomi Tunde, Daisy Mui Hung Kee, Afolabi Yakibi Ayodele, Jimoh Adams Lukman, Adekunle Olalekan Abiodun


This study aims to examine the factors that enhance entrepreneurial opportunity identification during the COVID-19 pandemic experience. This study will help entrepreneurs to leverage the opportunities inherent in the COVID-19 era for survival. This quantitative research focuses on understanding the mediating role of entrepreneurial alertness in the process of opportunity identification. The research population was 291 from a region in Nigeria. Random sampling techniques were employed in the study, and 202 questionnaires were administered and fully returned. Data were analyzed through the Smart-PLS. The findings reveal that there is a significant positive relationship between entrepreneurial alertness and the identification of opportunities. The result also reveals that social network is a stronger predictor of opportunity identification than prior knowledge. Also, it was revealed that the mediation effect of entrepreneurial alertness on the relationship between prior knowledge and social network is statistically significant. The study is not without its limitations. Using cross-sectional design restricts the ability to capture changes in attitudes and purpose over time and this small sample size. This paper cannot cover the type of risk associated with COVID-19 and not explore the details of COVID-19 according to each country of the world owing to the constraints of the scope of this research. This paper may not meet the possibility of a solution to the COVID-19 since our focus is to leverage the gains of the pandemic. This study implies that identifying opportunities is possible in an imperfect state such as COVID-19, which contributes to entrepreneurship and management research. The paper contributes to scare literature on COVID-19 and entrepreneurship. From the findings, it can be inferred that identifying opportunities is an uninterrupted cycle that supports concentration on social networks and prior knowledge as they have a major effect on identifying opportunities. Most studies focused on the operations, work experience, and behaviors of entrepreneurs. However, none has leveraged the social network, prior knowledge, and alertness to identify opportunities during the COVID-19 pandemic. The application of entrepreneurship to the current health problem of COVID-19 is the novel focus of this study.


Keywords: COVID-19, social network, prior knowledge, entrepreneurial alertness, opportunity identification.

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