Capital structure, market conditions and financial performance of small and medium enterprises in Buganda Region, Uganda
Keywords:Capital Structure, Market Conditions, Financial Performance, Small And Medium-Sized Enterprises
AbstractSmall and Medium Scale Enterprises (SMEs) continue to be major players in the economic growth of Uganda as well as many of the emerging economies. The Uganda Investment Authority had projected 5.5% economic growth by 2030 in anticipation of stable market conditions necessary for the sustained financial performance of SMEs. However, the business failure rate of SMEs in Uganda had persistently revolved around 70% in 2018 from 50% in 2004. This problem had been linked to the turbulent market conditions characterized by intensive competition as well as volatile consumption behavior of the customers. Empirical literature indicates that competitive intensity, as well as volatile customer demand, presents a negative impact on financial performance. Hence, the study sought to determine the moderating effect of market conditions on the capital structure-financial performance relationship of SMEs in Uganda. From a population of 218,561 SMEs, a sample of 453 respondents was selected out of which, 423 responded to the questionnaire. Primary data were analyzed using descriptive statistics and multiple regression techniques. The hypothesis was tested at a 0.05 level of significance. Findings indicated that Market conditions had a positive and significant moderating effect on the capital structure-financial performance relationship (?= 0.175 and p = -0.027). We conclude that market conditions can strengthen/ weaken the effect of capital structure on the financial performance of SMEs. We recommend that SMEs should evaluate the market conditions during the process of deciding the financing mix for their operations to optimize the impact of capital structure on financial performance
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