The development of start-ups in East Africa is increasing rapidly, and this phenomenon is predicted to contribute to economic growth in the region. However, the Covid-19 pandemic has wiped out many leading sectors, especially in the digital economy.
Elites and business veterans consider organizational innovation as a necessity to minimize organizational risk. Through innovation, organizations can adapt to environmental changes and reduce the impact of threats and risks.
Innovation ambidexterity is the individual’s capability to balance exploration and exploitation. Start-ups should aim to strike a balance between exploration and exploitation to improve business performance even though the growth of ambidexterity is a major challenge. Entrepreneurs are encouraged to carry out a continuous innovation process to become more ambidextrous and continue to innovate in an effort to futureproof their businesses. Dynamic capabilities and technological capabilities are needed by entrepreneurs to increase the innovation ambidexterity in an effort to improve performance and maintain business continuity. Dynamic capability refers to a company’s capability to reconfigure its competence in a volatile environment. Meanwhile, technological capability is the ability of individuals to acquire, disseminate, combine, and reconfigure technology resources to support and improve business strategies and work processes. Another factor identified in the Covid-19 phenomenon is agile leadership, which is flexible and adaptive leadership setting direction, setting simple and generative rules of the system, and encouraging constant feedback, adaptation and collaboration. In addition, the knowledge stock can be also the basis for applying knowledge in the face of uncertain conditions, such as the global pandemic, Covid-19. Thus, knowledge stock refers to the number of elements of knowledge a company has accumulated over time.
Generally, the current Covid-19 pandemic has exposed start-ups’ unpreparedness and therefore this experience has to be a point of reference in considering factors when facing other global pandemics. Business resilience is the ability of a business to survive in a critical condition, so it should not be highlighted only in dealing with the Covid-19 pandemic, but also in dealing with all critical situations.