Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 9

Small Business Related Abstracts

9 Working Capital Management Practices in Small Businesses in Victoria

Authors: Lalith Seelanatha, Ranjith Ihalanayake, John Breen

Abstract:

In this study, we explored the current working capital management practices as applied in small businesses in Victoria, filling an existing theoretical and empirical gap in literature in general and in Australia in particular. Amidst the current global competitive and dynamic environment, the short term insolvency of small businesses is very critical for the long run survival. A firm’s short-term insolvency is dependent on the availability of sufficient working capital for feeding day to day operational activities. Therefore, given the reliance for short-term funding by small businesses, it has been recognized that the efficient management of working capital is crucial in respect of the prosperity and survival of such firms. Against this background, this research was an attempt to understand the current working capital management strategies and practices used by the small scale businesses. To this end, we conducted an internet survey among 220 small businesses operating in Victoria, Australia. The survey results suggest that the majority of respondents are owner-manager (73%) and male (68%). Respondents participated in this survey mostly have a degree (46%). About a half of respondents are more than 50 years old. Most of respondents (64%) have business management experience more than ten years. Similarly, majority of them (63%) had experience in the area of their current business. Types of business of the respondents are: Private limited company (41%), sole proprietorship (37%), and partnership (15%). In addition, majority of the firms are service companies (63%), followed by retailed companies (25%), and manufacturing (17%). Size of companies of this survey varies, 32% of them have annual sales $100,000 or under, while 22% of them have revenue more than $1,000,000 every year. In regards to the total assets, majority of respondents (43%) have total assets $100,000 or less while 20% of respondents have total assets more than $1,000,000. In regards to WCMPs, results indicate that almost 70% of respondents mentioned that they are responsible for managing their business working capital. The survey shows that majority of respondents (65.5%) use their business experience to identify the level of investment in working capital, compared to 22% of respondents who seek advice from professionals. The other 10% of respondents, however, follow industry practice to identify the level of working capital. The survey also shows that more than a half of respondents maintain good liquidity financial position for their business by having accounts payable less than accounts receivable. This study finds that majority of small business companies in western area of Victoria have a WCM policy but only about 8 % of them have a formal policy. Majority of the businesses (52.7%) have an informal policy while 39.5% have no policy. Of those who have a policy, 44% described their working capital management policies as a compromise policy while 35% described their policy as a conservative policy. Only 6% of respondents apply aggressive policy. Overall the results indicate that the small businesses pay less attention into the management of working capital of their business despite its significance in the successful operation of the business. This approach may be adopted during favourable economic times. However, during relatively turbulent economic conditions, such an approach could lead to greater financial difficulties i.e. short-term financial insolvency.

Keywords: Small Business, Australia, Working Capital Management, sufficient, financial insolvency

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8 Business Continuity Opportunities in the Cloud a Small to Medium Business Perspective

Authors: Cihan Varol, Donald Zullick

Abstract:

This research paper begins with a look at current work in business continuity as it relates to the cloud and small to medium business (SMB). While cloud services are an emerging paradigm that is quickly making an impact on business, there has been no substantive research applied to SMB. Seeing this lapse, we have taken a fusion of continuity and cloud research with application to the SMB market. It is an initial reflection with base framework guidelines as a starting point for implementation. In this approach, our research ties together existing work and fill the gap with an SMB outlook.

Keywords: Risk Assessment, Small Business, Cloud Services, Business Continuity, medium size business

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7 Customer Service Marketing Mix: A Survey of Small Business around Campus, Suan Sunandha Rajabhat University

Authors: Chonlada Choovanichchanon

Abstract:

This research paper was aimed to investigate a relationship between the customer service marketing mix and the level of customers’ satisfaction from purchasing goods and service from small business around campus, Suan Sunandha Rajabhat University, Bangkok, Thailand. Based on the survey of 200 customers who frequently purchased goods and service around campus, the level of satisfaction for each factor of marketing mix was reached. An accidental random sampling was applied by using questionnaire in collecting the data. The findings revealed that the means values can help to rank these variables from high to low mean as follows: 1) forms and system of service, 2) physical environment of service center, 3) service from staff and employee, 4) product quality and service, 5) market channel and distribution, 6) market price, and 7) market promotion and distribution.

Keywords: Small Business, Survey, satisfaction, service marketing mix

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6 Exploring Challenges Faced by Small Business Owners on Poverty Reduction in Rural Eastern Cape, South Africa

Authors: Akinwale Olusola Mokayode, Emaanuel Adu, Seriki Idowu Ibrahim

Abstract:

Small business can serve as a tool for poverty reduction in South Africa, but it requires adequate support and development for its continuous sustenance in spite of rigorous challenges, especially in the rural environment. This study explored the challenges faced by the small business owners in the rural Eastern Cape Province of South Africa. The objective of the study is to identify the challenges faced by small business owners in the case study area and to examine the effects of those challenges on poverty rate. Survey research design was adopted, with the distribution of structured questionnaire for data collection through a simple random sampling method. Descriptive and inferential statistics was used to analyse the data. Findings showed that small business owners face various challenges in their commercial operations. It was also made clearer that these challenges have effects on the poverty rate as well as crime rate. In conclusion, in other for small businesses to be effective instrument to tackle poverty, certain measure must be taken into considerations. This therefore necessitates recommendation from the researcher that potential and current business owners must seek valuable advice from the more experienced business tycoon and seek information about the business assistance programmes provided by government and private sectors.

Keywords: Rural, Poverty, Small Business, Poverty Reduction, eastern cape, sustainable livelihood

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5 Small Businesses as Vehicles for Job Creation in North-West Nigeria

Authors: Mustapha Shitu Suleiman, Francis Neshamba, Nestor Valero-Silva

Abstract:

Small businesses are considered as engine of economic growth, contributing to employment generation, wealth creation, and poverty alleviation and food security in both developed and developing countries. Nigeria is facing many socio-economic problems and it is believed that by supporting small business development, as propellers of new ideas and more effective users of resources, often driven by individual creativity and innovation, Nigeria would be able to address some of its economic and social challenges, such as unemployment and economic diversification. Using secondary literature, this paper examines the role small businesses can play in the creation of jobs in North-West Nigeria to overcome issues of unemployment, which is the most devastating economic challenge facing the region. Most studies in this area have focused on Nigeria as a whole and only a few studies provide a regional focus, hence, this study will contribute to knowledge by filling this gap by concentrating on North-West Nigeria. It is hoped that with the present administration’s determination to improve the economy, small businesses would be used as vehicles for diversification of the economy away from crude oil to create jobs that would lead to a reduction in the country’s high unemployment level.

Keywords: Small Business, Unemployment, Nigeria, job creation, north-west

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4 Religious Capital and Entrepreneurial Behavior in Small Businesses: The Importance of Entrepreneurial Creativity

Authors: Waleed Omri

Abstract:

With the growth of the small business sector in emerging markets, developing a better understanding of what drives 'day-to-day' entrepreneurial activities has become an important issue for academicians and practitioners. Innovation, as an entrepreneurial behavior, revolves around individuals who creatively engage in new organizational efforts. In a similar vein, the innovation behaviors and processes at the organizational member level are central to any corporate entrepreneurship strategy. Despite the broadly acknowledged importance of entrepreneurship and innovation at the individual level in the establishment of successful ventures, the literature lacks evidence on how entrepreneurs can effectively harness their skills and knowledge in the workplace. The existing literature illustrates that religion can impact the day-to-day work behavior of entrepreneurs, managers, and employees. Religious beliefs and practices could affect daily entrepreneurial activities by fostering mental abilities and traits such as creativity, intelligence, and self-efficacy. In the present study, we define religious capital as a set of personal and intangible resources, skills, and competencies that emanate from an individual’s religious values, beliefs, practices, and experiences and may be used to increase the quality of economic activities. Religious beliefs and practices give individuals a religious satisfaction, which can lead them to perform better in the workplace. In addition, religious ethics and practices have been linked to various positive employee outcomes in terms of organizational change, job satisfaction, and entrepreneurial intensity. As investigations of their consequences beyond direct task performance are still scarce, we explore if religious capital plays a role in entrepreneurs’ innovative behavior. In sum, this study explores the determinants of individual entrepreneurial behavior by investigating the relationship between religious capital and entrepreneurs’ innovative behavior in the context of small businesses. To further explain and clarify the religious capital-innovative behavior link, the present study proposes a model to examine the mediating role of entrepreneurial creativity. We use both Islamic work ethics (IWE) and Islamic religious practices (IRP) to measure Islamic religious capital. We use structural equation modeling with a robust maximum likelihood estimation to analyze data gathered from 289 Tunisian small businesses and to explore the relationships among the above-described variables. In line with the theory of planned behavior, only religious work ethics are found to increase the innovative behavior of small businesses’ owner-managers. Our findings also clearly demonstrate that the connection between religious capital-related variables and innovative behavior is better understood if the influence of entrepreneurial creativity, as a mediating variable of the aforementioned relationship, is taken into account. By incorporating both religious capital and entrepreneurial creativity into the innovative behavior analysis, this study provides several important practical implications for promoting innovation process in small businesses.

Keywords: Creativity, Small Business, Religion, Entrepreneurial Behavior

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3 A Study of Small Business Failure: Impact of Leadership and the Leadership Process

Authors: Theresa Robinson Harris

Abstract:

Small businesses are important to the United States economy, yet the majority struggle to remain relevant and close before their fifth year. This qualitative study explored small business failure by comparing the experiences of small-business owners to understand their involvement with leadership during the early stages of the business, and the impact of this on the firms’ ability to survive. Participants’ experiences from two groups were compared to glean an understanding of the leadership process, how leadership differs between the groups, and to see what themes or constructs emerged that could help to explain the high failure rate. Leadership was perceived to be important when envisioning a path for the future and when providing a platform for employees to succeed. Those who embraced leadership as a skillset were more likely to get through the challenges of the early developmental years while those ignoring the importance of leadership were more likely to close prematurely. These findings suggest a disconnect with regards to the understanding, role, and benefits of leadership in small organizations, particularly young organizations in the early stages of development.

Keywords: Entrepreneurship, Leadership, Small Business, Failure, success

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2 Strategic Public Procurement: A Lever for Social Entrepreneurship and Innovation

Authors: Y. Li, B. Orser, A. Riding

Abstract:

To inform government about how gender gaps in SME ( small and medium-sized enterprise) contracting might be redressed, the research question was: What are the key obstacles to, and response strategies for, increasing the engagement of women business owners among SME suppliers to the government of Canada? Thirty-five interviews with senior policymakers, supplier diversity organization executives, and expert witnesses to the Canadian House of Commons, Standing Committee on Government Operations and Estimates. Qualitative data were conducted and analysed using N’Vivo 11 software. High order response categories included: (a) SME risk mitigation strategies, (b) SME procurement program design, and (c) performance measures. Primary obstacles cited were government red tape and long and complicated requests for proposals (RFPs). The majority of 'common' complaints occur when SMEs have questions about the federal procurement process. Witness responses included use of outcome-based rather than prescriptive procurement practices, more agile procurement, simplified RFPs, making payment within 30 days a procurement priority. Risk mitigation strategies included provision of procurement officers to assess risks and opportunities for businesses and development of more agile procurement procedures and processes. Recommendations to enhance program design included: improved definitional consistency of qualifiers and selection criteria, better co-ordination across agencies; clarification about how SME suppliers benefit from federal contracting; goal setting; specification of categories that are most suitable for women-owned businesses; and, increasing primary contractor awareness about the importance of subcontract relationships. Recommendations also included third-party certification of eligible firms and the need to enhance SMEs’ financial literacy to reduce financial errors. Finally, there remains the need for clear and consistent pre-program statistics to establish baselines (by sector, issuing department) performance measures, targets based on percentage of contracts granted, value of contract, percentage of target employee (women, indigenous), and community benefits including hiring local employees. The study advances strategies to enhance federal procurement programs to facilitate socio-economic policy objectives.

Keywords: Women, Policy, Small Business, Procurement

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1 Improving the Deficiencies in Entrepreneurship Training for Small Businesses in Emerging Markets

Authors: Eno Jah Tabogo

Abstract:

The aim of this research is to identify and examine current deficiencies in entrepreneurial training in improving the performance of small businesses in sub Saharan Africa economies. This research achieves this by examining the course content, training methods, and profiles of trainers and trainees of small business service providers in Sub Saharan Africa (SSA) to identify training deficiencies in improving small businesses. Data was for the analysis was collected from a sample of four entrepreneurial training providers in SSA. These four providers served an average of 1,500 trainees. Questionnaire was used to collect data via face to face and through telephone. Face validity was determined by distributing the questionnaire among a group of colleagues, followed by a group discussion to strengthen the validity of the questionnaire. Interviews were also held with managers of training programs. Content and descriptive statistics was used to analyse the data collected. The results indicated only 25% of the training content were entrepreneurial. In terms of service provided, both business, entrepreneurial, technical and after-care services were identified. It was also discovered that owners of training firms had no formal entrepreneurship background. The paper contributes by advocating for a comprehensive entrepreneurship-training program for successful small business enterprises. Recommendations that could help sustain emerging small business enterprises and direction for further research are presented.

Keywords: Entrepreneurship, training, Small Business, Emerging Markets

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