A systematic review of the factors affecting access to finance in entrepreneurial activities

Document Type : Review article


Gonbad-e Kavous University


Access to finance plays a key role in developing small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and entrepreneurial activities. Despite the critical role in economic growth and entrepreneurial activities, access to finance is the main problem. Better access to financial resources for a company's formation or development leads to better allocation of production resources, leading to rapid economic growth. Given the various theories about the factors influencing access to finance, there is still a lack of a systematic view of the factors affecting finance access. It implies that research areas are not yet saturated in this research field. Policymakers, therefore, need to understand the impact of various factors on access to finance for policymakers. This study aims to identify the factors for entrepreneurial activities that affect access to finance. To this end, 139 articles (Persian and English) on the factors affecting access to finance for entrepreneurial activities are reviewed using the systematic review of experimental and theoretical literature. Resources are then grouped into two internal and external factors categories. The results showed that the external factors included bank concentration, financial performance, debt conditions (interest rates, leverage and repayment periods), macroeconomic volatility, corruption, and companies' geography and knowledge asymmetry. Additionally, internal factors include entrepreneurial characteristics (age, gender, education, entrepreneurship and network of experience), company characteristics (life span of the company, size of the company, type of company and property, plant and equipment) and financial management practices of the company (financial information, business plan, and capital budgeting and management of working capital). This study's results enable policymakers to have effective strategies to promote access to business finance and enable entrepreneurs to recognize their strengths and limitations in accessing finance.


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Zulfiqar, G. (2017). Does Microfinance Enhance Gender Equity in Access to Finance? Evidence from