Influence of Alternative Financing on the Relationship between Managerial Competency and Efficiency of Small and Medium Enterprises in Kenya
Worldwide, Small and medium-size enterprises (SMEs) exhibit inimitable financial needs. While SMEs remain fundamental to economic growth, their mortality rate in Kenya approaches 90% by the second year, mainly owing to lack of credit. However, scholarly endeavors exploring the impact of alternative finance (AF) on managerial competency - efficiency nexus for manufacturing SMEs have received little attention in Kenya. To resolve this conundrum, a thorough study to investigate how AF impacts managerial competency - efficiency nexus is necessary. The study used a cross-sectional research design, employing both qualitative and quantitative research approaches. The target population was 171 SMEs registered with Kenya Association of Manufacturers. The accessible population was 136 SMEs owners/managers. A semi-structured questionnaire was used to collect primary and secondary data. Data envelopment analysis was used to measure efficiency, multiple regression modeling used to analyze the direct relationships while hierarchical moderated multiple regression analysis employed to test moderation. Partial Least Squares Structural Equation Modeling was used to test robustness of our results. The findings of this study demonstrate that managerial competency positively influences efficiency (β = 0.150, t-value =10.246, P<0.05), and that alternative finance does moderate managerial competency relationships with efficiency (R-Square change of 21.7%).We suggest trainings for manufacturing SME owners/managers in Kenya on the pivotal role of alternative finance to facilitate SMEs achieve higher efficiencies and accelerate economic growth.
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