Purpose - The purpose of this qualitative research project is to analyze the effects of the global crisis known as COVID-19 in family businesses in North Macedonia and to define the strategies that Albanian entrepreneurs have used to overcome the pandemic.
Design/Methodology/Approach - This research was accomplished by conducting a gender comparison between the behaviors of 10 men entrepreneurs with the behaviors of 10 women entrepreneurs in the city of Skopje. Data were collected by the interview method. The interviews were conducted by phone, from 1st June to 15th June.
Findings - The results of this the research show that women entrepreneurs have overcome the crisis through a defensive strategy despite while man entrepreneurs who are men have used a more offensive strategy. Due to the pandemic, the majority of women entrepreneurs have lost incomes, labor, and clients, while men entrepreneurs have maintained the labor with the minimum wage but they have suffered the same loss in the aspect terms of incomes and clients. Findings show that, in the category of women-owned enterprises, lower financial results have shown those who operate in the textile industry and beauty salons. In companies with men entrepreneurship, the biggest losses were recorded by those operating in the luxury jewelry industry and restaurants, while pharmacies, supermarkets, and detergent manufacturing companies proved to be profitable. Even companies that have shown high financial performance have encountered huge problems in supplying raw materials due to the pandemic. This research will help SMEs in our country with useful suggestions to make the right decisions for the mentioned issue.
Research limitations/ Implications - There are some limitations in this study that could be considered as a guide for future research. First, this research includes only Albanian entrepreneurs located in the city of Skopje, the research would be more complete if we include a larger number of Albanian entrepreneurs from more cities in North Macedonia. Second, considering that the topic of this paper is new, we did not have enough literature to compare or enrich the paper. Third, due to the current situation caused by the virus, we have faced difficulties to convince entrepreneurs over the phone to respond in to our questionnaires.
Originality/Value - This paper addresses a new topic comparing the behaviors of Albanian entrepreneurs based on their gender in overcoming the pandemic in the city of Skopje.