Date of Conferral



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


Business Administration


Theresa Neal


At least 33% of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in Mexico do not survive the first year and 65% close during the first 5 years of operations. SME survival is essential for a globally competitive market and professional development opportunities for SME employees. Grounded in the pecking order theory, the purpose of this qualitative multiple case study was to explore strategies four Mexican SME leaders used to obtain appropriate financing for their sustainability and growth during and beyond 5 years of beginning operations. Data were collected from semistructured interviews, organizational documents, and social media platforms. Data were analyzed using thematic analysis. Four themes emerged: financing sources, determinant factors of financing preferences, barriers for financing, and strategies to overcome barriers for financing. The key recommendations are for SME leaders to acquire financial literacy, professionalize the management, provide enough reliable financial information to potential lenders, and maintain positive credit track records and long-term relationships with banks. The implications for positive social change include the potential for SME leaders to promote the growth and profitability of their companies that contribute to improving the welfare of their employees and communities.