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An integrated approach to SME risk assessment: A focus on endogenous and exogenous risk factors

Jabulile Msimango-Galawe
Boris Urban


Despite the many government programmes that have been put in place to assist with small business development, South African small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) still face high rates of failure. This study is an empirical investigation into the role and influence that endogenous and exogenous risk factors play in reducing SME failure. Building on existing theoretical perspectives, such as complexity and systems theory, hypotheses are formulated to predict the impact of different forms of capital and risk factors on SME success. Moreover, an integrated risk assessment model that can be used to assess SMEs more holistically regarding risk and success was devised.

The study collected primary data through survey and employed correlational analysis and hierarchical multiple regression. The results indicate that financial capital and entrepreneurial self-efficacy are significant predictors of SME success. Regarding modeling, the integrated model shows that the effect of the combined risk factors is stronger when compared to individual effects only. These findings highlight that funding models need to incorporate both endogenous and exogenous risk factors which significantly affect the success of SMEs in South Africa.

Keywords: SMEs; Risk assessment; Success; Growth; Performance; Integrated Framework

Journal Identifiers

print ISSN: 2042-1478