Entrepreneurial Orientation, Access to Financial Resources and SMEs’ Business Performance: The Case of the United Arab Emirates

Hajer Zarrouk*, Mohamed Sherif, Laura Galloway, Teheni El Ghak

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Citations (Scopus)
900 Downloads (Pure)


This study investigates how financial resources and entrepreneurial orientation (EO) may influence the performance of small- and mediumsized‎enterprises (SMEs) in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). Twenty-seven interviews were conducted and evaluated using the method‎of GABEK® (A GAnzheitliche BEwältigung von Komplexität – holistic processing of complexity). The research demonstrated that‎access to financial resources has significantly mediated EO's effect on the SMEs’ performance. The study found that financial autonomy,‎enhanced through both personal financing and availability of external finance sources, plays a central role in supporting the EO dimension‎of autonomy and enhancing the SMEs’ performance. In particular, the other EO dimension of risk-taking is stymied by lack of funds with‎which to take commercial and market opportunities. However, when an innovation strategy is pursued and adopted, access to finance can‎be facilitated, either through financial institutions or through other governmental funding programs attracting high potential innovators.‎Furthermore, financial barriers, difficulties accessing bank financing, and legal issues have a detrimental impact on SMEs’ growth. The‎study has implications for policy-makers in the UAE, specifically in terms of sending a signal for lending institutions to consider strategies‎that provide access to affordable financial services to satisfy SMEs’ needs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)465-474
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Asian Finance, Economics and Business
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 30 Dec 2020


  • Entrepreneurial Orientation
  • Financing
  • Firm Growth
  • SMEs

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Management Information Systems
  • Finance
  • Economics and Econometrics


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