Business model innovation has been extensively studied in startups and large corporations. However, extant literature lacks studies on business model innovation in SMEs. The study’s objective is to shed light on SMEs business model innovation processes when adopting digital technologies. The manuscript focuses on the role of external actors in supporting SMEs unfolding business model innovation processes. It develops a qualitative explorative study collecting data from six cases. The cases are mainly Italian SMEs located in Marche Region. Data are analysed according to an abductive approach. The paper unfolds new perspectives on SMEs business model innovation processes while these are adopting digital technologies by shedding light on the role of external partners throughout the process. It identifies the actors who participate in the SMEs innovation. Also, it develops preliminary theoretical and managerial implications related to the role of the actors identified in supporting business model innovation processes linked to digital technologies adoption.
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