This article consists of a group of five case studies demonstrating how entrepreneurs have pivoted to adapt and thrive through the pandemic.

Getting Started

Introduction to the article (perhaps by having everyone read it)

Review how to approach a case study with the class. The steps should include: identifying the problem, analysis of the main issues, evaluation of the logical solutions and brainstorm and evaluation of alternate solutions.

Subject Area(s) covered

Entrepreneurship, marketing, technology adaptation

New Terms to explain

Supply chain, risk

Study and Discussion Activity

Key things students can learn from this lesson

Students will learn how being open to ideas and being flexible can help a business thrive.

Action (here’s how we’ll do it)

  • Organize the class into five equal groups: A, B, C D and E. Create breakout rooms ahead of time if you can, using your learning management system.
  • Assign each group one of the mini case studies in the article: A=Refashioned Strategy; B=Sweet Success; C=The Long Haul; D=Sidelined Supplies, Digital Potential; E=Power in Numbers.
  • In the breakout rooms, have students read their mini case study and use the case study method posited above to discuss.
  • Regroup the students so that each group now has someone from each of A, B, C, D and E.  Each student presents their case to the other students. This should take 25-30 minutes.

Consolidation of learning

  • Bring students back into the large “room” and ask them to share their thoughts on how business can adapt and thrive during the pandemic. 
Success and Additional Learning

Success criteria

  • Students are able to articulate how a small business can pivot in the face of adversity and thrive.

Confirming activities

  • Have students write a short paper answering the following question: Can the lessons learned from these entrepreneurs be applied to other businesses? How?

Activities to do together

  • After reading the case studies, have students look around your community and identify entrepreneurs who have pivoted and thrived during the pandemic. What did they do?  Discuss the businesses that seem to have failed and brainstorm ideas that might have helped them thrive.