on the Lockdown Economy initiative

In 2020 Think Tank AlterContacts launched the Lockdown Economy, an international non-profit grassroots social-economic and educational initiative to help small businesses and self-employed professionals overcome the challenges of the pandemic and reactivate the economy. It is registered by the United Nations as an Acceleration Action for SDG. 

From May 2020 until September 2021, we have collected insights from 350 small business owners and self-employed professionals from 42 countries in 17 languages, representing 78 business activities, to see how the COVID-19 pandemic affected their business, their life, and future. 

To make the insights gathered useful for policy-making and recommendations on entrepreneurship in the post-pandemic world, we have prepared the country reports below. This think tank report brings to light specific challenges small businesses faced due to COVID-19 and proposes ways to help them.

We are deeply grateful to entrepreneurs who shared their stories and to our 180 volunteers that made this initiative possible. 

Discover how and why the Lockdown Economy came to be. Watch the TED talk by Julia Skupchenko, the co-founder of Think Tank AlterContacts.

Country Reports of Lockdown Economy

When referencing our articles, please always mention the source:

Think Tank AlterContacts (2021). Lockdown Economy Country Report for [location]. [web-address of the article]

Individual Case Studies

A Look at the Tourism Sector in France.

Overcoming Challenges Faced by Small Businesses During the COVID-19 Pandemic.

A case study of a Woman Entrepreneur in Cyprus.

A small consultancy firm in Malta shares from its privileged observatory the opportunities and difficulties of being a small company during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Exploring challenges faced by an online sleep consultancy run by a ‘mumpreneur” in Lebanon.

While the gig economy is quickly gaining ground among students and employees, its effects entail a double burden that inflicts both psychological and organizational repercussions on a Romania-based Web Design company.

Amid the COVID-19 crisis, when most of the businesses were shutting down, some HORECA entrepreneurs defied the market trends and took the leap of faith.

The pandemic impacted companies working in close cooperation with the information and technology sector and became the driving force for digital transformation.

Here are the key challenges that small agricultural businesses in the United Arab Emirates are facing due to the COVID-19 pandemic and how the government can help.

In this story, the small business owner from Paris reflects on her experience of sustaining her cooking school through the pandemic.

Herein, thirty interviews including three follow-ups of small business owners from thirteen countries, conducted by Lockdown Economy from June 2020 to April 2021, are analyzed.

Here are four Lockdown Economy interviews from the Philippines, United Arab Emirates, India, and Nepal that revealed effective strategies to grow a business during this pandemic.

Five travel business owners from France, Mexico, Nepal, Indonesia, and the US shared how their businesses were affected, what measures they are taking to adapt to the new situation, and what help they still need for the near future.

Four small business owners from Nepal, the Philippines, Indonesia, and Lebanon reveal effective strategies to survive during this pandemic.

Lockdown Economy Books

featuring collections of interviews with small business owners from each location. Available on Amazon.

The country reports and case studies were prepared by the volunteer researchers:

Alan Patrick Cavalcante da Silveira, Brazil

Albert Cosmin Scirtoaje, Romania

Aulia Shifa Hamida, Indonesia

Afolabi Ajala, Nigeria

Cathy Wu, Australia

Dev Bahra, the United Kingdom

Dhitasree Guha Roy, India

Gayline Vuluku, Kenya

Giulia Silva, Italy

Lyutsiya Shlafman, Israel

Mellissa Paida Musonza, the United Kingdom

Minjo Cheon, South Korea

Natalia Nagree, Qatar 

Rashi Mathur, India

Rexhina Sufaj, Albania

Ryan Mitchell, Canada

Sara Bragaglia, Canada 

Whitney Santos Cabral, Brazil

Yvone Wo, the United Kingdom

And volunteer editors:

Christine McKenzie, the United States

Grace Ann Marciano, Philippines

Kate Wellard, Australia

Konstantinos Valtetsiotis, Italy

Marlene Ramos, Germany

Nelisa Padarath, Trinidad and Tobago

Olivia Grace, the United Kingdom

Sara Pasqualetto, the United States

Shruti Kumari, India

Steffi George Manavalan, the United States

Learn more about the Lockdown Economy initiative and meet the volunteers who helped with gathering and transcribing interviews here.