Date of Conferral

2015

Degree

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

School

Management

Advisor

Mohammad Sharifzadeh

Abstract

Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) account for approximately 50% of the world's gross domestic product. However, these economic agents suffer from inadequate access to liquid funds to finance their operations. The liquidity gap has led to early bankruptcy and liquidation, stagnant growth and development, and fewer employment opportunities. The problem under study was the effect of funding limitations on SMEs' business operations and growth. The purpose was to examine the impact of multilayered capital systems as alternative funding for SME growth. This study was informed by Gilbrat's law and the theory of financial exclusion. The research questions addressed the use of a multilayered capital market as a substitute for the conventional methods of funding for SMEs. A survey instrument was used to collect data using a stratified random sample of 54 small-scale business owners and finance professionals. These participants were identified from U.S. Census Bureau data between 2009 and 2014 across the information technology, service, and manufacturing sectors. Multiple regressions and correlation analyses were used to analyze the data. The results showed that age, credit score, average turnover, and total assets have significant impacts on obtaining funding, especially total assets. Moreover, results showed that growth rates correlated with funding from multilayered capital systems. This study contributes positively to social change by highlighting alternative means of funding SMEs, leading to reduced dependency on government, less crime through gainful employment, and improved corporate social responsibility due to better interactions among community members