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In order to better meet our mission to help small and medium-sized enterprises not only survive the pandemic crisis, but also thrive, we decided to conduct this study to further understand the vulnerabilities faced by SMEs in Tunisia.

SURVEY TITLE:How prepared are Tunisian SMEs to deal with a business interruption?

Date of the survey:June, July, August and September 2020.

The purpose of this study is to highlight the importance of preparation for unforeseen problems that could disrupt business continuity. The objective being to highlight the importance of CRISIS MANAGEMENT (CM) & BUSINESS CONTINUITY (BC) to the stability and profitability of the organization, the integrity of its resources and investments, and the safety of its employees and customers.

The following is a summary of some of the important points


  1. 68% of respondents do not have a CM or BC plan
  2. 22% indicated that a CM plan is desirable but that other priorities prevail
  3. VSEs (<100 employees) were the least interested in implementing a BCP
  4. 37% of participants noted the lack of interest by management to invest in staff training
  5. 18% of companies (>300 employees) believe they have an outdated or never implemented BCP
  6. 65% of executives surveyed believe their company does not have a dedicated team or process to deal with sudden business interruptions.




What events inspire major concern among executives and business leaders:



  • Interestingly, a pandemic was not among the top concerns of executives and business leaders as a major event that could occur over a relatively long period of time.
  • An earlier study by 4DLH shows that small businesses have fewer resources to plan for, respond to, and recover from a small or medium-sized crisis.
  • It is clear that small business owners invest a great deal of money, time and resources in their businesses, but fail to properly plan for the various crises their business may face.
  • The absence of a BC plan is a red flag that indicates the need to take action as soon as possible. SMEs need to develop a recovery plan and a system for quickly restarting critical activities after a crisis occurs. A BC plan should also specify the time frame in which a business could reasonably resume normal operations.

Reasons for not properly preparing for a crisis or developing a BC are as follows:

Table 3


These results highlight the lack of understanding among business leaders about the value of "intangible" assets in the calculation of return on investment.

Developing a set of technical, managerial, and administrative activities to recover and restore critical business assets is extremely important for companies of all sizes.

Developing a crisis management plan helps your teams identify potential threats as they plan and execute the tasks, communications and information they will need to address those threats. Plus, planning (and executing those plans) simply leads to better results, including better financial results and a customer base that trusts you.