Survival of small and medium enterprises during an economic downturn Essay

2.0 Introduction

Entrepreneurship occurs when there is a agency of executing concern by turning resources into end products that might hold non been easy undertaken or noticed by others.

Longenecker et Al ( 2000: 3 ) efforts to simplify the term by stating that:

“ Entrepreneurs are those persons who discover market demands and launch new houses to run into those demands ”

Schaper and Volery ( 2004: 4 ) reference that: –

“ aˆ¦during the industrial revolution, entrepreneurship was used to impute a new phenomenon of the persons who had formulated a venture thought, developed it, assembled resources and created a new concern venture ” .

Zimmerer and Scarborough ( 2002: 4 ) defines: –

“ An enterpriser as one who creates a new concern in the face of hazard and uncertainness for the intent of accomplishing net income and growing by placing important chances and piecing the necessary resources to capitalise them ”

If so the state of affairs such as the past economic crisis that resulted in many losingss of occupations and the dip of concerns into debt is an component that should or as the instance may be trigger the entrepreneurial endowment. This may make new concern for a strong simple intent of endurance, doing more little concern to be invented and possible solutions to a subdivision of unresolved economic demands.


Storey and Green ( 2010: 31 ) name three features that can be used to specify little concern emphasizing that it must possess the construct of ‘smallness ‘ which includes: –

“ aˆ¦the absence of market power, the high component of hazard and uncertainness and the liberty of running your ain concern ” .

Second sing the definition, comparings should be made within the same state, between different sectors and parts. This points out the fluctuation ‘s in depicting little concern by sector, size, demographics and regional places. Third the definition should be augmented over clip look intoing itself in instance different states and sectors decide to go more or less entrepreneurial.

Storey and Green ( 2010: 32 ) mention the Bolton Report of 1971 as the most “ aˆ¦influential conceptual definition of a little concern ” which emphasized the points that a little concerns should be managed and owned by the same set of people, be able to run lawfully and independently, besides possessing a portion of the market there are in.

So little concerns can be seen as endeavors managed and owned by enterprisers, holding the potency of finally turning in size by pick, transcending the degree of ‘smallness ‘ to medium, and obviously to big graduated table companies.

A clear fact has been noted within the contents of texts that aim to specify entrepreneurship, is that by entrepreneurship concern is created. This raises the inquiry of the in deepness relationship between entrepreneurship and concern since entrepreneurship is an single determination of one or more individuals. Is the endurance of theses concerns base entirely on the determinations of these persons or can an independently system be created for the concern that involves seeking adept advice as a control step to salvage the concern under troubled times. If this can nevertheless be possible does the concern have the clip and capablenesss under competition and economic emphasis to put up such a pre independent system or should this hold been thought about or set about at the start up stage of the concern.


In the 1930 ‘s and 1940 ‘s the great depression was experienced as a consequence of the emphasis, cost and losingss of World War I. During these clip companies such as Fannie Mae and Freddy Mac were created to supply low-cost lodging through mortgage to turn to the Housing crisis of the Great depression [ ] . Because of the difficult cut effects of this peculiar crisis banking ordinances were set up but subsequently stripped out in the 1980 ‘s and 1990 ‘s to supply better chances to do net income by big cooperation ‘s.

After the station war roar of the 1970 ‘s that saw lifting rewards since the terminal of World War II the crisis experienced as of that clip was caused by the diminution in corporate net income. It occurred as a consequence of the shifting of high paid fabrication occupations to non-unionized countries in both the United States and other countries in the remainder of the universe in the effort to change by reversal the decrease in corporate net incomes. This combined with the reorganizing of occupations to obtain more end product from less employees saw corporate net incomes rise while consumer buying power fell, ensuing in the bottom line underflow of hard currency.

Box ( 2009: 1 ) traces the beginning of the last economic crisis as:

“ aˆ¦being triggered by the bursting of the lodging bubble in late 2007 ”

The prostration of the lodging market bankrupted companies such as Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae. The autumn in lodging monetary values caused the spread of uncertainness, without the ordinances that monitored their operations, investing bankers spread hazard mortgage debt throughout the economic system. The decrease in the lodging monetary values resulted in Bankss and houses that operated in high debt unable to borrow money demand to “ remain afloat ” . So by and large the prostration of the banking sector was caused by Bankss borrowing financess that they ne’er truly had. [ ]

This clearly links economic emphasiss faced by concerns and companies to the inability to procure debt cementing the fact that companies that operate with the consciousness of liquidness and hard currency militias stand better opportunities of lasting economic downswings.


Zimmer and Scarborough ( 2008 ) have listed a figure of ways by which SME ‘s can avoid the ‘credit crunch ‘ . These constructs can be applied by and large throughout the day-to-day traffics of SME ‘s, most of them being sensible methods of increasing hard currency flow that can be applied during an economic crisis. They talked about bartering ; which involves trading of one good in topographic point of another. An illustration of this procedure was the traffics of a eating house proprietor who traded repasts for USD 1000 worth of new furniture. In this instance the eating house proprietor made a gross net income border of 32 per centum, as the repasts merely cost USD 650. The film editing of operating expenses was besides mentioned, carry throughing this by inquiring for price reductions and ‘freebies ‘ , and sporadically measuring their disbursals to happen out if their over running charges for no peculiar ground. Another technique was to engage portion clip employees and free-lances while commanding employees ‘ progresss and loans. ( see Sweeny, 2010 ) . Outsourcing certain occupations alternatively of naming in house forces to make the occupation on a monthly wage, and purchasing used or reconditioned equipment to salvage money was besides mentioned as a good manner to minimise cost. They pointed out the chief issue of maintaining a current and up to day of the month concern program before nearing loaners or investors. This supports the theory of Mariotti and Glackin ( 2010 ) which includes concern program creative activity in the seven regulation system for SME ‘s during an happening of a ‘credit crunch ‘ .

Steingold ( 2009 ) expressed his positions by indicating out cautious actions that can be taken by SME ‘s during an economic crisis. It involves paying of revenue enhancements, observing that should the concern become belly-up revenue enhancements will be lawfully obliged to be paid. He mentioned taking an honest attack to debt, should loan applications be made by the concern during times of the crisis, misunderstanding of financess and dishonest book maintaining could set down the applier once more into legal jobs. He indicated the usage of cautiousness in the transportation of concern belongings, saying clearly the displeasure of reassigning concern belongings to friends and household in a command to conceal assets from creditors. Such behaviour could see enterprisers being charged with either fraud or civil/ condemnable charges. He advised that attention be taken when paying creditors, non to happen favouritism as this will bring on infighting amongst creditors during bankruptcy claims. Other creditors will indicate the fingers of unfairness and it may ensue in some creditors holding to return money.

Further advice to SME ‘s included the issue of banking operations. Reding that the company should hold a separate bank history for its hard currency operations and a separate 1 for it loans. This could go really helpful in times of economic crisis because other loans can be requested utilizing statements from a liquid bank history to cover frights of holding money deducted by the bank without notice because of fiscal problems and demands.

Issue screen is an importance beginning of security during an economic crisis, since both hard currency and loans become more hard to obtain, it can function as a manner of back uping the concern to pay wages and public-service corporation measures for at least a period of six months, giving the concern clip to seek for alternate beginnings of finance.

Sell outs and work out relationship comes as a last consequence, where creditors were to go on providing the concern within the chance of an understanding demoing it better for all parties involved to maintain the concern afloat than it would be shuting it.

The Banker ( 2009 ) besides speaks of possessing honest and up to day of the month fiscal informations during the economic crisis, as these paperss will be requested to back up loan claims as a method of look intoing and commanding hazard, so little endeavors should keep good ethical behavior as a whole seeing it as a wage off during times of ‘credit crunches ‘ .

Sweeny ( 2010 ) references that little concerns are cutting costs internally looking to household and friends as alternate beginnings of finance, while besides doing efforts or utilizing personal nest eggs. As an add-on to this they are besides looking to seek aid from – ” factor agents and plus based loaners ” that can procure loans by security of stock list and equipment or workss. He by and large stated that other concerns are looking to the “ non-banking sectors ” beginnings for beginnings of funding.

Sweeny ( 2010 ) summarized endurance techniques undertaken by SME ‘s as merely cutting cost and explicating schemes. A study cited within his work taken by the National Federation Independent Business in July 2010 shows that 42 per centum of SME ‘s in America claim that they were being paid at a slower rate and 22 per centum of the SME ‘s themselves were paying at reduced rate. However 1 per centum did state that they received faster payments while 4 per centum claimed that they were paying faster themselves.

Another research spread has emerged here associating the type of concerns operated by the little per centum of those SME ‘s who increased their clip rate of payment. Could they be a certain type of little endeavor that thrives during economic crisis such as fiscal advisers and concern that produce inferior or inexpensive goods? Sweeny ( 2010 ) has made no reference of the sample size of this study nor the assorted types of SMES ‘ surveyed to see at that place sectorial differences. He has suggested that new types of fiscal services have come into being during these times propos competently bear downing premium rates of involvement to function a widely turning demand for finance.

Tan ( 2009 ) encourages SME ‘s to overlook dependence on authorities and the Bankss, but rely alternatively on hard currency beginnings from household members and friends. He besides emphasized on the demand to supply fiscal inducement bundles from every state to SME ‘s on the footing that little companies will go tomorrow ‘s large companies mentioning to the success experienced by companies such as Google, e-Bay and U.P.S.

This attack can promote SME ‘s to happen alternate beginnings of hard currency during times of tough recognition funding. But the statement does originate as to the extent of the fiscal issues of the friends and households which they aim to borrow from, due to the fact that the economic crisis affects persons as much and if non more than it does concerns. Government subordinates such as investings into recognition associations like Unicredit Group and investings into SME growing and sustainability by OEDC member states are every bit much a strong avenue for endurance as borrowing from household and friend, although both possibilities have advantages and disadvantages. [ Trade Finance London 2009 ; – , Gullec and Vincent 2009 ]

A publication by The Birmingham station ( 2008: 22 ) stated that:

“ Record Numberss of little concerns are discontinuing their offices and traveling back to place to salvage money ” .

They mentioned that a study conducted by the O2 company in the United Kingdom has shown that over 50,000 SME ‘s a month are poised to shutdown their offices. They research besides returned the result of 400,000 SME ‘s who have already discontinue their offices since the oncoming of the ‘credit crunch ‘ in November 2008. In their study ‘eight out of tem little concern runing from place said their clients were non concerned about their deficiency of an official premiss.

Gullec and Vincent ( 2009: 4 ) discourse the jobs that SME ‘s face to include:

“ … increased payment holds on receivables, to shortage of working capital and lessening in liquidness ”

They farther talked about the economic crisis as a period of increased studies in defaults, insolvencies and bankruptcies. ( see besides Sweeny 2010 )

This raises the inquiry to find if an economic downswing is a period that favours new SME ‘s over existing 1s, as they build their companies around the state of affairs at manus, coming out with low cost and efficient manners of operation. While bing companies, have to set or alter from utilizing familiar techniques and procedures, to last or be pushed out of concern.

Sweeny ( 2010 ) has made mentioned of an proprietor of little bringing service ( courier ) who devised a scheme to cut costs by cut downing wages of full clip staff by 13 per centum and a salary cut to himself of 30 per centum. He has besides suggested that his top clients such as authorities bureaus, architectural houses and infirmaries pay with recognition cards in return for price reductions. Due to the trouble of paying on clip this means was devised by the proprietor of the messenger service to guarantee his ain payments are seasonably received. His clients American express payments are due on the seventh of each month giving him the ability to measure them on the 8th therefore guaranting them a one month avenue to pay their recognition card company while he receives his ain payments on clip. This is a good illustration of leading and originative accomplishments by an enterpriser during hard fiscal times to develop an advanced system of guaranting timely payments of his dues whilst supplying his client clip to settle theirs. This confirms the claims by Box ( 2010 ) that endurance is really dependent on leading abilities and qualities.

Zollecik ( 2009: 1 ) provinces that:

“ aˆ¦the universe bank has already responded to the planetary economic crisis with programs to recapitalize little Bankss in developing states, every bit good as supplying recognition lines for microfinance establishments that serve the poorest people ”

Harmonizing to Sweeny ( 2010 ) loaners in the United States are being encourage to impart money to entrepreneurs ‘ and SME ‘s by the current political disposal and the Federal Reserve ‘s president Ben Bernanke, nevertheless they face stiff capital demands from the regulators.

The Banker ( 2009 ) has besides noted that in times of economic crisis, due to Bankss internal jobs indicants show less involvement to function out loans to SME ‘s

Sweeny ( 2010 ) in his article confirmed issues faced by Bankss as ensuing in them cut downing lines of credits during an economic crisis back uping his claim on an interview on a vacuum truck service that provides waste and cleansing services to oil companies in Houston where the C.E.O Mike Smith reported that his fiscal establishment was establishing the present old ages line of recognition on that of 2009 when his public presentation Numberss fell to USD 1 million from about USD 1.8 million in 2008.

The stiff capital demands set up by regulators has been a draw back in their attempts to obtaining the needed finance to SME ‘s. Jeanette Won, who is caput of institutional banking at Singapore DBS Bank considered that:

“ aˆ¦banks had been remembering their loans due to their ain fiscal troubles ” . ( Tan, 2009: 1 )

Harmonizing to the Trade Finance London ( 2009: 1 )

“ aˆ¦the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development ( EBRD ) is doing investings worth a sum of Eu 432.4 million in Unicredit subordinates across eight Eastern European states, as portion of a joint attempt to undertake the impact of the planetary economic crisis in the part ”

Zolleick ( 2009 ) has indicated the involvement of the present leading of the United States Government to originate a plan to assist 3rd universe states adjusts to the impact of the planetary economic crisis. He mentioned the call for increased assistance to Africa by French President Nicolas Sarkozy and the desire of the German Chancellor Angela Merkel to assist fund building undertakings in hapless states. ( see Gullec and Vincent 2009 )

Gullec and Vincent ( 2009: 1 ) provinces that:

“ aˆ¦the economic crisis has prompted immediate response by authorities to avoid the prostration of the fiscal and banking system and restrict the economic effects of the recognition crunch ”

They continue by adverting the being of a phenomenon they described as ‘creative devastation ‘ looking towards the event of the economic crisis as an gap for authoritiess to put in long term sustainability and growing.

They farther expressed the steps taken by OEDC member states in their attempt to assist advance entrepreneurship. They mentioned stairss taken by authoritiess who have released financess to Bankss to assist little concern and enterprisers. They discuss the innovation of the “ recognition go-between ” in France who works in close relation with the Central Bank with the purpose of helping SME ‘s in their dialogues with banking and funding institutes.

Gullec and Vincent ( 2009: 20 ) reference that:

“ aˆ¦countries such as Australia, Austria, Denmark, France, Germany, Luxembourg, New Zealand, Spain, Sweden and the United Kingdom ”

Have set up instruments to work out assorted hard currency flow jobs from SME ‘s such as revenue enhancement inducements and grants for research and development, general value added revenue enhancement ( VAT ) revenue enhancement / corporate revenue enhancement decreases, accelerated depreciation, and faster VAT refunds. In Hungary USD 3.9 billion has been allocated to supply support particularly for SME ‘s and Chile besides has provided capital in the signifier of Guarantee fund for SME ‘s worth USD 130 million which is aimed at leveraging new guaranteed loans for more than 15 billion dollars. Governments such as Spain has planned alterations doing it a possibility to represent a company in 24 hours while states like Mexico have made authorities programs to buy most of its demands from SMES ‘s. ( Gullec and Vincent 2009 )

This is a clear illustration of authoritiess taking the taking function in happening solutions to primary issues within their assorted economic systems during a recognition crisis by puting into SME ‘s to hike creativeness and at the same clip addition disbursement. This supports the claim that great possibilities are made available during clip of economic crisis for SMES ‘s, nevertheless statements have been made such as those in Tan ( 2009 ) that these financess have been withheld by Bankss in response to their ain economic related issues, therefore hindering the SME ‘s usage of the multiple available avenues of sustainability.

The possibilities of innovation and growing of new SME ‘s during economic times have been supported by the work of ( Gullec and Vincent 2009: 3 ) saying that:

“ aˆ¦new concern theoretical accounts and new engineerings, peculiarly those leting a decrease in cost, frequently arise in economic down bends ” .

Stressing the advantage of low cost companies peculiarly air hoses which grew as a consequence of the recession during the 1990 ‘s. An illustration of this is Ryan-air, they went on to demo the restrictions of the economic crisis as a period where entree to fundss are low ( Sweeny 2010, Tan 2009 ) .

Gullec and Vincent ( 2009 ) , favour the purpose of external policies by authoritiess to further invention and maintain growing, pressing the demand to develop anti-crisis policies that have built within them, incentives to back up SME growing and development. This coincides with the suggestions of Zoellick ( 2009 ) that negotiations about a planetary exposure fund that acts as a support to states which can non on their ain afford a bailout during times of economic crisis.

Harmonizing to Gullec and Vincent ( 2009 ) the economic crisis could function as an chance to make endeavors that serve the cause of supplying solutions to the issues of green energy. They back this statement with the support of the OEDC in ( 2009 ) towards the creative activity of new endeavors that serve to supply green energy solutions in their assorted stimulation bundles provided by their member states.

An anon. text by the Banker ( 2009: 1 ) confirms the point that more little endeavors are being created due to miss of occupations.

“ aˆ¦a Nigerian bank, for illustration studies that demand for SME loans has addition since the beginning of the twelvemonth 2009 due to higher entrepreneurial liquors as a effect of occupation losingss and deficiency of employment chances. ”

This might non be wholly true, Nigeria is non a state that has its concern based on entirely on recognition, they frequently deal with hard currency and largely upfront, so the coming of the economic crisis might hold non affected them in the same manner as other more advanced states. So entrepreneurial spirit may be based on political and personal demands, being that they have a population of over one hundred and 50 million people harmonizing to World Bank estimations, deficiency of occupations exist there with or without the economic crisis.

The Banker ( 2009: 1 ) quoted that:

“ aˆ¦while the economic crisis has taken its toll on concern worldwide, it has besides helped to fuel entrepreneurial growing and development ”

Stated within this text are consequences of a research made by Emergent Research “ a consultancy house that tracks, analyses and prognosiss, important tendencies that impact little concern formation and growing ” ( The Banker, 2009: 1 ) that in times of crisis little concerns will non merely concentrate on hard currency flow and cost containment, but they will besides re-evaluate, re-design and polish their merchandises procedures and concern theoretical accounts.

This is a clear illustration of invention as a consequence of sturdy state of affairs or merely turning a menace into an chance.

It exposes new ways by which SME ‘s tackle the effects of an economic crisis by reconstituting the manner at which they do concern and in fact turn their ain concern theoretical accounts inside out to happen a complimentary tantrum to the present state of affairs.

To look into the truth of such statement research opportunities arises to happen out if companies have in any why changed their merchandise or concern theoretical account to accommodate the present economic state of affairs of the last ‘credit crunch ‘ .

Other notes of endurance mentioned within the text is the ethical issue of transparence and answerability in the coverage of fiscal statements for the interest of helping investors, creditors and other interested and helpful parties to do better informed determination towards funding.

This supports the theory of Steingold ( 2009 ) who mentioned that honest fiscal coverage could non merely aid SME ‘s in obtaining financess for sustainability but could besides assist debar state of affairss that could take to lawful subject.

Box ( 2010 ) stated that what is needed for the endurance of SME ‘s and besides some steps for success are the placement and operational excellence of the house, combined with counsel under situational leading citing his findings to the work of ( Poter, 1996 ) and ( Hersy, 1997 ) severally.

Box ( 2010: 3 ) emphasizes that for a little and average endeavor the ownership of a competitory advantage is a competency that can assist sit overcome rivals during a clip of crisis. He farther went onto say that:

“ aˆ¦core competences that lead to important competitory advantage are valuable, rare hard to copy and basically non-substitutable. ”

Bing things that houses do that which other houses they compete with are unable to make. Feel could be seen within his review in that the companies who possess competitory advantage over others are bound to win and therefore survive. But during a planetary economic crisis could this claim still keep its land, where the chief issue is finance, since a competitory advantage could be anything from a superior design of a merchandise to a thin cost direction scheme. At the clip of an economic crisis some competitory advantage may look to go unequal and what one must make as an enterpriser is follow a system that will salvage cost and raise financess to vie with whatever the competition has to offer.

This raises the inquiry of the rare abilities or competitory advantages that SME ‘s posses runing from networking to clients and Bankss, to efficient ways of making concern that might hold aided their endurance during the economic crisis. Box ( 2010 ) based his survey on 70 five old ages of personal experience working with and reding SMEs.

Box ( 2010 ) went farther explains that issues such as leading abilities and qualities can find success and endurance within an SME and all besides indicating out the usage of thin direction doctrine for SME ‘s to assist minimise operational cost.

Although I agree that SME ‘s and all companies should take to minimise un-useful cost in every bit many ways as possible I argue that most SME ‘s might non hold the extended cognition of using and pull offing a thin cost direction system or have the capableness to undertake the jobs of this system should they originate. However by experience and repeated procedure SME ‘s could develop internal capablenesss of pull offing cost themselves although it might non be a doctrine such as the Lean Cost method, some facets of it could be used during an economic crisis connoting impermanent methods of cutting cost until clip of crisis is over.

Gullec and Vincent ( 2009: 2 ) stated that:

“ aˆ¦innovation will be one of the keys to emerging from the current crisis, but it risks being hit hard by the downswing ”

They made reference of a recent study by McKenzie of approximately five hundred company ‘s universe broad that showed consequence of 34 per centum of big companies passing less in 2009 on research and development. They described the effects of this on SME ‘s and persons who are extremely trained on research as a demining consequence on their well being because of a deficiency or decrease of occupations. This is because little pioneers possess their primary assets in intangible nature for illustration thoughts of patents,

“ aˆ¦being hard to value doing it difficult to borrow against, or sell to remain afloat ” ( Gullec and Vincent, 2009: 3 )

The pessimistic position perceived by the effects of the economic crisis can nevertheless be turned to optimistic results by investings exerted into the economic system through external forces such as the OEDC and World Bank ( Zoellick 2009 ) since hints of creativeness and entrepreneurship has been seen present in state of affairss of difficult times. Investing in invention within SME ‘s can therefore surrogate growing and make occupations back uping Gullec ‘s theory of ‘creative devastation ‘ demoing creativeness to be a by-product of uneven state of affairss.

2.4 Summary

It is certain that entrepreneurship and little concern is a cardinal facet in stabilising and prolonging the economic system. But little concerns seem to be those hit hardest by the economic downswing although they need much less finance to last. Preferences in footings of recognition and hard currency financess normally go to the larger companies largely due to the big interest they separately hold and the figure of people they employ at a clip. This rids many SME ‘s the right to be noticed, frequently overlooking their importance. However authoritiess have grown to see the importance of maintaining little concerns running and supplying the available financess in effort to reconstruct balance during a crisis. However troubles are faced by SME ‘s in obtaining finance particularly when the finance holder themselves ( Bankss ) are most straight related to the jobs at manus. So SME ‘s tend to turn to other beginnings to last even ensuing in altering concern theoretical accounts and developing operational tactics with the purpose to minimise cost and continue concern. Although several ways exists by which this can be achieved, it is non clearly stated if SME ‘s really take advantage of the available beginnings. An effort to look into the truth refering the different manners of endurance taken by SME ‘s during an economic crisis will be undertaken in the 4th chapter, taking to happen solutions to the research objectives stated in chapter one.