Date of Conferral







Karina Kasztelnik


Past studies highlighted that small and medium scale enterprises contributions to nations’ economy have been minimal due to their inability to access the sufficient funds for their operations. The challenge is that small business owners lack the right strategies to raise finances required for business operations. The purpose of this study was to explore the lived experiences of small and medium scale enterprise owners in raising of finances from lending institutions. The conceptual framework emphasized the concepts of business environment, financing institutions, knowledge, and experience of small business owners as related to small and medium scale enterprise funding. The research questions explored small business owners’ lived experiences in sourcing finances for their business operations. A qualitative phenomenological study conducted with 15 small business owners drawn from small business owners that have recently accessed finances from lending institutions. Data were collected using semi-structured interviews through via Zoom video conferencing. Data analysis was done using a modified Van Kaam approach to extract emergent themes that provided answers to the research questions. The findings showed that the Nigerian business environment is harsh and exacerbated by financing institutions that are non-supportive of small business owners. This forces small business owners to seek alternative funding sources such as debt financing, turning to venture capitalists, which is the most common form of financial source for new ventures including small and medium scale enterprises, as well as family and social networks for funding. The study findings contribute to positive social change by creating awareness amongst small and medium scale business owners of alternative financial strategies to overcome funding challenges and remain profitable and sustainable.