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Challenges and Opportunities for Startups During the Pandemic


We hold a monthly Diwaniya at Elm that hosts specialists in our targeted subjects who present their experiences and journey in their specialization. We were pleased to host Prof. Amal Dukhan via a live webinar. Dukhan is a specialist in entrepreneurship, initiative development, and business accelerators. She holds a master's degree in strategic marketing from the University of Wollongong and is currently working as the General Manager of The Babson Global Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership at Prince Mohammed bin Salman College of Business and Entrepreneurship.

An introduction to the nature of the challenges facing startups during the pandemic

Many startups have suffered COVID-19 repercussions, especially companies whose services require a physical presence such as retail stores, which led to a decrease in sales and financial flow. There are also some companies that were not affected, negatively or positively, and there are companies that have benefited. For example, sales thru delivery apps have increased during the pandemic.

The nature of the opportunities resulting from the pandemic

The emergence of potential opportunities from current conditions is due to several factors, such as the target market, customer interests, and purchasing power. Customers are currently going through a shift in their consumption and buying behavior due to the precautionary measures, which has led to the emergence of opportunities that must be seized by startups.

Digital transformation of products and companies during the pandemic

The pandemic has forced many companies to use technology to promote their products. Due to the current precautionary measures, and the increasing demand for local and international delivery services, it is imperative for emerging companies to digitize their services.

Supply Chain Alternative Solutions

The supply chains that deliver raw materials to products around the world have been affected by the pandemic. The lockdown around the world highlighted the need to find alternative solutions to prevent production from stopping, including local manufacturing of raw materials using "3D printing" technology. Thanks to this technology, companies have been able to reduce the need for imported materials, and reduced the waiting time for deliveries. Flexibility in dealing with supply chains is critical.

General guidance to face the prevailing challenges

Startups should maintain their financial flow to the extent possible for several months to come, while pursuing strategies to reduce and control expenses, in addition to insuring readiness and flexibility for any future circumstance. The market recovery period is coming, and it must be dealt with wisely and cautiously. Marketing campaigns should be a spur of the moment, unlike before, to encourage the customer to buy. Current opportunities vary between investment opportunities and opportunities for potential clients.