Date of Conferral

2015

Degree

Doctor of Business Administration (D.B.A.)

School

Management

Advisor

Gregory Uche

Abstract

Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are the main drivers of economic growth and employment. African SMEs are constrained by a lack of access to finance. In line with the pecking order theory, capital-constrained SMEs are expected to seek external finance. However, due to credit rationing, African SMEs have limited success raising finance. Factoring could enable African SMEs to gain access to finance, as underwriters mainly place the risk on the receivables as opposed to the firm itself. Despite its benefits, factoring has not taken root in sub-Saharan Africa. The purpose of this phenomenological study was to explore the obstacles and prospects to stimulating awareness, availability, acceptance, and utilization of factoring in Africa. Data on the lived experiences of 22 executives providing or promoting factoring in 16 African countries were collected through semistructured interviews; these data were analyzed using the Braun and Clarke thematic approach. Four themes emerged: supply-side conditions, demand-side conditions, business environment conditions, and facilitating institutions and industries. Results suggest high factoring prospects, legal and regulatory impediments, low awareness levels, reluctance of banks to avail factoring, high entry barriers for nonbank factors, a lack of credit insurance, and a lack of an open account trade culture. A framework was recommended, based on these findings, along with actions for factoring development in Africa. Implications for positive social change include increased awareness which may boost factoring availability, acceptance, and utilization. Improved financing options may yield improved African SME competitiveness, which in turn, may result in improved job opportunities, household incomes, quality of life, and more broadly, Africa's economic growth.