The effects of long-term credit on entrepreneurial behaviour and enterprise performance among small and medium size enterprises in Kenya
Sirma, Moris Haron
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Over the past four decades, Kenya has implemented actions to provide long-term credit to small andmedium sized enterprises (SMEs). This is on the premise that long-term credit stimulates both entrepreneurial behavior and improves performance of SMEs. To date, empirical literature is inconclusive on the effect of long-term credit on entrepreneurial behaviour and enterprise performance. The specific objectives of this study were to investigate effect of long-term credit on both entrepreneurial behavior and each of its dimensions, namely pro-activeness, risk-taking, competitive aggressiveness and innovativeness. In addition, the study sought to examine how long term credit affects enterprise performance. Past research studies were reviewed which revealed definitive evidence of knowledge gaps in this stream ofliterature, The philosophical base of the research was realism while the research design was both explanatoryand descriptive. A sample of 81 SMEs was drawn from enterprises funded under the European Investment Bank Global loan scheme in Kenya. Data was collected using standardized measurement instruments developed by Miller (1983), Covin and Slevin (1989, 1991) and Gupta and Govindarajan (1984). A 58 percent response rate was attained on the basis of 47 duly filled questionnaires. Using hierarchical regression analysis, empirical results showed that long term credit had apositive and statistically significant effect on entrepreneurial , behavior. It also revealed that while long term credit had a positive and statistically significant effect on each dimension of entrepreneurial behaviour, the quantum of the effects on each dimension was not the same. The effect of longterm credit on enterprise performance was positive but statistically not significant. The study makes key research and practical contributions. The new approach of examining the effects of long term credit on each dimension of entrepreneurial behavior revealed better understanding on how long term credit stimulates entrepreneurship. On a practical perspective, financing of SME through long term credit may not be an optimal financing strategy. If the goal was to maximize value of SME, it would appear that one way to do this was to minimize long term debt in the capital structure of the enterprise.