Firm Characteristics and Capital Structure of Small and Medium Enterprises in Kenya
Mugwe, Munga Michael
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Small and Medium Enterprises play an important role towards economic growth and development in Kenya at large. Studies have indicated that there is a relationship between firm characteristics such as profitability, asset structure, firm size, age and capital structure of small enterprises. However, iinconsistencies have partly been traced on methodological issues majorly differences in measurement of variables and study designs. In addition, there is limited evidence on their capital structure or how they take financing decisions in Kenya. It was therefore imperative to understand how key firm characteristics affect capital structure of these enterprises to help in improving policy decisions and offering practical guidance. This studyinvestigatedfirm characteristics which influence capital structure of SMEs focusing on Kenya. Specifically, the study sought to determine the effect of firm size on capital structure of SMEs in Kenya, to examine the effect of firm age on capital structure of SMEs in Kenya, to establish the effect of tangible assets of a firm on capital structure of SMEs in Kenya, and to determine the effect of firmperformance of a firm on capital structure of SMEs in Kenya. The study employed a correlation survey today.Ordinary Least Square model was applied on Kenya’s latest enterprise survey data of 2018.Both descriptive and regression analyses were employed. Results indicate that firm size and firm age are negatively associated with the capital structure. On the other hand, the study found that firm performance and assets base, affected capital structure positively. The study concludes that SMEs should find alternative funding avenues rather than relying on borrowing. A further study was also recommended to analyse why firm performance was positively related to capital structure.