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Lundgren Tours: Out of the Frying Pan and into the Fire. A young entrepreneur survives and thrives after the ‘double whammy’ of Brexit and Coronavirus” by Alison Pearce, Rose Quan, and Katarzyna Dziewanowska (teaching case study in “The International Journal of Entrepreneurship and Innovation”, April 2022).

Lundgren Tours (LT) is an awarding-winning regional tour company founded by a student entrepreneur in 2016. In 2020, the UK left the EU and the country’s first Covid-19 patients were identified, leading to international anti-coronavirus restrictions and the cancellation of tours for 12 months. The case considers several aspects (explained in ‘Themes’) of the catastrophe through the founder’s eyes, revealing the influence of entrepreneurial psychological capital and how striving to survive disaster can lead to new strengths and opportunities. The aim of this case is to provide students with an authentic, personal insight into the individual and organisational response to crisis and chaos as an entrepreneur. It tells the story of Lundgren Tours (LT) of Northumberland, UK and its founder, student entrepreneur Robert Lundgren Jones. The case is fast-paced and accessible, dominated by verbatim quotations from an entrepreneur at the heart of a personal and professional existential crisis. Direct quotations can indicate clarity of links between data, interpretation and conclusion (Corden and Sainsbury, 2006). In 2020, LT experienced the unprecedented twin turbulence of Brexit and the global Covid-19 pandemic, resulting international lockdowns and then back to Brexit. The origins and motives of the company are described. An impression of the extreme uncertainty and inconsistency of government Covid-19 guidance is provided as a back-drop to rapid operational decisions and shut-down. Themes of opportunity recognition, entrepreneurial behaviour and small business coping strategies in the context of regional and, arguably, rural tourism are addressed. The first objective is to describe in detail multiple practical issues facing this young entrepreneur such as individual adaptability, motivation and resilience, information-seeking and planning, crisis funding, the role of family and external networks and adaptation to a new trading environment. The second objective is to suggest concepts and theories to analyse the evident circumstances, events and decisions. These include definitive concepts such as Smith and DiGregorio’s (2002) ‘bisociation’ and Burgelman’s (1983) resource ‘piggybacking’. Cutting-edge theories in development, such as ‘entrepreneurial psychological capital’, are explored. Environmental analysis and coping through networks are discussed, among other theory associated with entrepreneurial action and survival. The final objective is to propose further student research, questions, discussions, tasks and exercises to engage stu- dents in strategizing into the future of LT as lockdowns are eased and industry refocuses on Brexit. Students and readers are invited to research around the case using the myriad source formats available about these high-profile issues and a well promoted company. Tourism is one of the UK’s most important industries, responsible for 1.6 million jobs and worth over £145 billion in 2018 (7.2% of UK GDP) (Office of National Statistics, 2018), with spending by overseas visitors in 2019 of £28.4 billion (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, 2020), a rise of 7.3% on the previous year. Spending by visitors from the EU member states represented 37.5% of the total. The North East region of England represents almost 5% of this, including Northumberland, England’s northernmost and least popu- lous county, situated along the North Sea coast between the ancient northern border of the Roman Empire, Hadrian’s Wall, and the modern Scottish border. Tourism is a key economic driver for the county with over 10 million visitors during 2018. However, the North East is the weakest regional entrepreneurship eco-system in the UK on all measures: attitude, ability and aspiration. (Global Entrepreneurship and Development Institute, 2014, see Table 1). Here we find Lundgren Tours (LT), founded by a Northumberland-born 19-year-old student with Scandinavian seafaring ancestry in response to an appeal by a cottage letting agency and the requirements of his course. On January 31st, 2020, the UK leaves the European Union and the country’s first Covid-19 cases are treated in Newcastle upon Tyne. By March, a national lockdown is enforced and lasts in various forms for 16 months. LT, already challenged by the potential effects of Brexit on their core market, is forced to cancel activities and wrestle suddenly with the professional and personal effects of an unpredictable environment, incomplete, incon- sistent and ever-changing advice and regulation and three national lockdowns. We join them as they prepare to resume limited activity and attempt to plan for a post- lockdown and post-Brexit future. The company specializes in Viking, Game of Thrones and Harry Potter themed tours and will need epic navigation, complex plot prediction and a sprinkling of magic spells to survive the twin turbulence of Brexit and the Coronavirus.