Purpose This work aims at investigating the variables that foster antifragility in the context of small and medium-sized service companies (service SMEs). Design/methodology/approach This work adopts an exploratory approach in order to deepen five examples of service SMEs that were able to change their own business models and to reinforce their strategic position while facing the COVID-19 pandemic. Findings The ingredients of antifragility ability include: entrepreneurial orientation, context insightfulness and operational dexterity. This article singles out the resources and capacities backing the blossoming of antifragility abilities in service SMEs. Slack financial resources, many and diverse research-and-innovation partners, operational dexterity, fastness and creativity are included among such resources and capabilities. Practical implications Crises may occur frequently in many ways; thus, this work provides some guidance geared to services SMEs in order to increase their level of preparedness for future crises and to nurture their ability to transform them into opportunities. Originality/value Despite many concepts associated with antifragility have been dealt with in literature such as resilience or agility, antifragility is hitherto underexplored. This article is among the first ones to explore factors fostering antifragility in service SMEs.
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