Financial structures and financing strategies of German SMEs

The financial environment for small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) is changing. The general good economic situation, the current policy on low interest rates and new banking regulations affect the capital structure of German SMEs. Hence, there is an ongoing increase of the equity ratio of small and medium sized enterprises which very much outperforms the growth of the equity ratio of large enterprises. As a result, the gap between the equity ratio of SMEs and large enterprises is increasingly blurring. This change can also be observed in all regions and sectors. Investigating different sources of funding, the results show that bank borrowings are still the most important source of debt financing. However, retention of earnings gains in importance for German SMEs in comparison to debt financing.

Pahnke, A.; Schröder, C.; Leonhardt, F.; Wiedemann, A. (2015): Finanzierungsstrukturen und -strategien kleiner und mittlerer Unternehmen: Eine Bestandsaufnahme, IfM Bonn: IfM Materialien Nr. 242, Bonn.

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