Exploring the impacts of COVID-19 pandemic on entrepreneurial ventures in Kampala district
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The purpose of the study was to explore the impact of COVID-19 on entrepreneurial ventures in Kampala district. The specific objectives of the research were assessing the status of entrepreneurial venture operations during the COVID-19 pandemic, identifying the challenges faced by entrepreneurial ventures due to the COVID-19 pandemic and to ascertain how entrepreneurs have mitigated the challenges in Kampala district. The study used a cross-sectional, qualitative and descriptive research design. The sample size consisted of 16 participants who were operating entrepreneurial undertakings with Kampala district and who businesses had been in place for more than two years. The research used convenience sampling and the data sources were both primary and secondary. Data was collected using and interview guide and was analyzed using the content analysis technique. The status of entrepreneurial ventures revealed a general increase in lay-offs, declining income and reducing number of customers. The challenges faced by the research were categorized in five groups. These were reduced profits, customer related problems, import challenges and as well as health, social and psychological problems. As mitigation measures, entrepreneurs undertook innovation and exploited opportunities, adopted use of different technologies and used managerial skills. In order to overcome COVID-19 challenges, the study recommends that entrepreneurs should look for alternative mechanisms to reach their customers, should focus on fast moving products, embrace e-commerce, advertise online, cut down expenses, lay off workers, seek meaningful partnerships with landlords, banks and suppliers and should reasonably reduce product prices.