Financial Literacy and Access to Financial Resources: The Case of Developing Countries SME-Owner’s Age and Gender

Olamitunji Dakare, Samuel Essien Okon


Purpose: Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) remain an important aspect of the economic growth and development of a nation. Understanding how SMEs in developing and emerging economies can access financial resources is crucial for their survival and economic development. This study, therefore, examines the influence of financial literacy on access to finance and the moderating role of gender and age employing the Upper-Echelons Theory.

Methodology: A cross-sectional research design was employed with a sample of 286 owners of Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) in Lagos State. SPSS AMOS 26 was employed to validate the data and test the first hypothesis. While Hayes Process Macro was employed to test the second and third hypotheses of the Study.        

Results: The finding revealed that financial literacy had a significant influence on access to finance for SME owners. The finding further revealed that age moderated the relationship between financial literacy and access to finance. While Gender also moderated the relationship between financial literacy and access to finance.

Practical implications: SME owners need to understand how gender and age influence their level of financial literacy and access to financial resources. This will enable SME owners to recognize how to drive profit and access to financial resources needed in their business.  This study provides empirical evidence that has the potential to contribute to policy debates on how governments, academics, and policymakers can design and implement supportive financial educational programs for SME owners in developing countries.

Originality: The study draws on the upper-echelons theory to further establish the relationship between financial literacy and access to finance among SME owners.  Also, how gender and age moderate the relationship between financial literacy and access to finance of SME owners in a developing country. This study deepens our understanding of the role played by gender and age in the SME literature. 

Keywords: Financial Literacy, Access to Finance, Gender, Age, Nigeria, SME owners



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