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The impact of gender on SME characteristics and access to debt finance in South Africa


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  • David Kudzaishe Garwe
  • Olawale Fatoki
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    This study aimed to determine whether South African small and medium enterprises (SMEs) are affected by gender differences in demand for debt and its availability. It also looked at whether there are gender differences in the firm and entrepreneurial characteristics of SMEs. The study was conducted by means of a survey using a self-administered questionnaire and statistical analyses that included descriptive statistics, a t-test and a logistic regression. Significant gender differences were found in SMEs' demand for debt finance but only insignificant differences in availability. The findings also revealed significant gender differences in some of the firm and entrepreneurial characteristics of SMEs. It appears that for SME owners in South Africa gender differences exist in the demand for debt finance but not in its availability. The policy recommendation is that commercial banks, government agencies and non-governmental organisations should aim to help and encourage female SME owners to apply for debt finance.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Taylor & Francis Journals in its journal Development Southern Africa.

    Volume (Year): 29 (2012)
    Issue (Month): 3 (September)
    Pages: 448-461

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    Handle: RePEc:taf:deveza:v:29:y:2012:i:3:p:448-461

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