Evaluation of Important Credit Risk Factors in the SME Segment
The aim of the paper is to define important credit risk factors in the SME segment, find out how entrepreneurs evaluate these factors, and quantify the differences in their evaluation based on the enterprise's age, gender and attained education level. An empirical research was conducted in relation to the defined aim. 1,141 responses were received by means of the online questionnaire. To process the results, the two-sample t-test was used. Statistical tools such as histogram, Q-Q graph, z-test, and goodness-of-fit tests were applied to verify the assumptions. The results indicate that small and medium-sized enterprises perceive credit risk more intensively in comparison with the pre-crisis era. It was also discovered that the SMEs' knowledge of credit criteria is somewhat low. Entrepreneurs also state that banks' credit criteria are not very transparent. Based on the findings, the length of operating a business has a significant influence on the evaluation of credit risk factors. Experienced entrepreneurs, meaning those operating a business for over 10 years, have a more intense perception of the significance of credit risk, they also have better knowledge of banks' credit criteria, and view credit criteria as more transparent than beginner entrepreneurs. An interesting finding is that the length of operating a business reduces the differences in the evaluation of important credit risk factors in regard to entrepreneurs' gender and age. (original abstract)
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