Creditworthiness and access to finance of SMEs in Malaysia: do linkages with large firms matter?

Shaista Wasiuzzaman*, Nabila Nurdin, Aznur Hajar Abdullah, Gowrie Vinayan

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: This study investigates the influence of inter-firm linkages between small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and large firms on the relationship between an SME's creditworthiness and its access to finance. 

Design/methodology/approach: Survey questionnaire was distributed to 456 SMEs in the manufacturing sector in the Selangor and Federal Territory of Kuala Lumpur regions and a total of 145 useable responses were gathered. Investigation into the possible differences in the effect of creditworthiness – and its dimensions – on access to finance for SMEs with and without linkages are examined using Partial Least Squares-Multi Group Analysis (PLS-MGA).

Findings: It is found that the relationship between creditworthiness and access to finance is significant for both SMEs with and without links to large firms. However, no significant difference is found in the effect of creditworthiness on access to finance for both types of SME. Further analysis on the five different dimensions of creditworthiness shows statistically significant differences between SMEs with links and those without for the dimensions of collateral and condition. This implies that alliances formed between SMEs and large firms do not have much of an influence on the overall creditworthiness but do influence the collateral and condition of the SME.

Originality/value: This study contributes to the understanding of the effects of interfirm linkages on SME creditworthiness and access to finance. To the authors' knowledge no such study has been conducted on links between SMEs and large firms, especially in a developing country such as Malaysia.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)197-217
Number of pages21
JournalJournal of Small Business and Enterprise Development
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 6 Mar 2020


  • Access to finance
  • Creditworthiness
  • Interfirm linkages
  • Malaysia
  • Small-to-medium enterprises (SMEs)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Business, Management and Accounting (miscellaneous)
  • Strategy and Management


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