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Access to finance for innovative SMEs since the financial crisis

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  • Lee, Neil
  • Sameen, Hiba
  • Cowling, Marc

Abstract

In the wake of the 2008 financial crisis, there has been increased focus on access to finance for small firms. Research from before the crisis suggested that it was harder for innovative firms to access finance. Yet no research has considered the differential effect of the crisis on innovative firms. This paper addresses this gap using a dataset of over 10,000 UK SME employers. We find that innovative firms are more likely to be turned down for finance than other firms, and this worsened significantly in the crisis. However, regressions controlling for a host of firm characteristics show that the worsening in general credit conditions has been more pronounced for non-innovative firms with the exception of absolute credit rationing which still remains more severe for innovative firms. The results suggest that there are two issues in the financial system. The first is a structural problem which restricts access to finance for innovative firms. The second is a cyclical problem has been caused by the financial crisis and has impacted relatively more severely on non-innovative firms.

Suggested Citation

  • Lee, Neil & Sameen, Hiba & Cowling, Marc, 2015. "Access to finance for innovative SMEs since the financial crisis," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 44(2), pages 370-380.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:respol:v:44:y:2015:i:2:p:370-380
    DOI: 10.1016/j.respol.2014.09.008
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    Keywords

    Finance; SME; Entrepreneurship; Recession; Innovation;

    JEL classification:

    • O31 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Innovation and Invention: Processes and Incentives
    • G21 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Banks; Other Depository Institutions; Micro Finance Institutions; Mortgages
    • G32 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance - - - Financing Policy; Financial Risk and Risk Management; Capital and Ownership Structure; Value of Firms; Goodwill
    • L26 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior - - - Entrepreneurship

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