Small Business Economics—Entrepreneurial Finance in an Extended Period of Crises

When:  Jan 31, 2024 from 09:00 to 23:59 (ET)
Associated with  Entrepreneurship (ENT)

Special Issue Small Business Economics: An Entrepreneurship Journal (SBEJ)

“Entrepreneurial Finance in an Extended Period of Crises” 

The Special Issue aims at collecting timely and high-quality original research papers on entrepreneurial finance during one of the most challenging periods for entrepreneurship. Contributions to the special issue will not only help to better understand current and future entrepreneurial challenges, but also to provide solutions. Interested colleagues will benefit from peer-feedback during two paper development workshops, from the guest editorial teams’ experience and guidance, and from referee feedback in an accelerated and well prepared review process. 


Submission of extended abstracts: May 31, 2023
Submission of full papers: January 31, 2024
See page 4ff for a complete timeline and submission instructions. 


CHRISTINA GUENTHER, WHU – Otto Beisheim School of Management (
DENIS SCHWEIZER, Concordia University, (
SILVIO VISMARA, University of Bergamo, (


The entrepreneurship research community already collected a variety of insights into how the COVD-19 pandemic affected entrepreneurs and entrepreneurship in general within the scope of, e.g., the 2021 Small Business Economics special issue on “Economic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on entrepreneurship and small businesses.” This call extends and complements these insights by moving beyond the COVID-19 pandemic's immediate / short-term consequences and options to counterbalance this external shock and instead a) pays attention to the pandemic’s longer term effects on entrepreneurship, b) incorporates the described interrelated and overlapping set of crises entrepreneurs face, and c) focuses on entrepreneurial finance during the periods of crises in particular. 2 RESEARCH AREAS The world has been hit by the outbreak of the COVID 19 pandemic in 2020 causing too many fatalities and severe personal and economic damage. In February 2022, after about 8 billion people had received a COVID-19 vaccine, and the epidemic seemed to be overcome, Ukraine has been invaded by the Russian army. This conflict did not only yield humanitarian and refugee crises, but also had, among others, major effects on global markets, stock markets, energy costs, and food supply. In most countries, the monetary policy response to these overlapping crises was to keep interest rates at low levels and to provide financial support to households and companies to minimize layoffs during lockdown periods and to avoid widespread bankruptcies and potential contagion effects. This policy substantially increased the money supply resulting in demand-pull inflation. At the same time, supply was globally constrained by worker shortages and the disruption of complex supply chains. In addition, China’s strict “Zero-Covid Policy” led to long lockdowns and quarantine measures and consequently to delays at ports and manufacturing hubs, and thus further constrained supply. Rising energy, commodity, and food prices, caused by the invasion of Ukraine, paired with about eight folded container freight rates fueled inflation to levels that most countries have not seen, at least for a long time. The primary monetary reaction to high inflation rates was quantitative tightening at unprecedented speed, thus risking a deeper recession. The first visible effects, triggered by increased interest rates, were bank failures and bailouts, as, e.g., of the Silicon Valley Bank, or the Signature Bank, as well as the emergency merger between Credit Swiss and UBS. The turmoil is not expected to have settled but rather to continue below the surface and to cause mistrust in the banking sector, tighter credit standards and thus, a reduced lending activity.

In summary, the last three years have arguably been challenging for the global economy at large. However, the COVID pandemic, the invasion of Ukraine, suppressed supply chains, demand-pull inflation, and sharp increases in the cost of capital affected entrepreneurial ecosystems and access to finance for young ventures and SMEs in particular. The collapse of the Silicon Valley Bank, which was a prominent start-up investor, paralleled with less optimism in general, could induce an era of contraction in the entrepreneurial finance market. Thus, driven by the extended period of crises, many business models, young ventures, and SMEs disappeared but new players, financial instruments, entrepreneurial ecosystems, markets, technologies, cryptocurrencies, or payment systems with disruptive potential emerged or will emerge and will probably reshape the entrepreneurial finance landscape. The extended period of crises has changed the world, and many of these changes are expected to persist.


  • May 31, 2023: Deadline to submit extended abstracts or papers for 4th International Conference on Digital, Innovation, Financing and Entrepreneurship (DIFE) 
  • June 10, 2023: Decision on abstracts or papers 
  • July 3-4, 2023: First Paper Development Workshop (PDW) within DIFE conference, hosted by the John Molson School of Business - Concordia University, Montreal, Canada (participation either in person or virtually) 
  • September 15, 2023: Deadline to submit papers for the Second PDW 
  • September 30, 2023: Decision on papers for the Second PDW
  • October 20-21, 2023: Second PDW taking place at LUISS Business School, Rome, Italy (participation either in person or virtually) (tentative dates and location) 
  • January 31, 2024: Deadline to submit papers for the Special Issue 
  • April 31, 2024: Decisions on the first submission 
  • July 15, 2024: Deadline to submit final papers 
  • September 15, 2024: Final decisions