SME funding-gap and financing: a comprehensive literature review

Ebes Esho, Grietjie Verhoef

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Small and medium enterprises (SMEs) generally face more financing constraints than large businesses. However, the voluminous literature on SME financing has remained largely fragmented. This makes it difficult to harmonise findings that could potentially help SMEs in their search for more financing. This paper presents a review of extant research on SME finance and the financing constraints they face, with a focus on developing countries. The review reveals that although there are various sources of finance available to SMEs, some are more readily accessible than others because certain sources are still rudimentary in many developing countries. Certain demographics of SME owners and managers, such as age, education level, and gender, affect the ease with which SMEs can access finance. However, a lack of theory on SME funding still limits extant understanding of SME financing as most extant studies were conducted without providing any theoretical foundation. The paper concludes by providing a framework and some suggestions for a research agenda that could aid in this regard.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)164-191
Number of pages28
JournalInternational Journal of Globalisation and Small Business
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2022


  • SMEs
  • financing
  • funding-gap
  • literature review
  • small business

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Business and International Management
  • Management Science and Operations Research
  • Information Systems and Management


Dive into the research topics of 'SME funding-gap and financing: a comprehensive literature review'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this