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SME finance and the construction of value in Rwanda

SME finance and the construction of value in Rwanda

Van Klyton, Aaron (2017) SME finance and the construction of value in Rwanda. Journal of Small Business and Enterprise Development, 25 (4). pp. 628-643. ISSN 1462-6004 (doi:

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This article explores how entrepreneurs, banks, the government and alternative lending respond to finance gaps for Small and Medium Enterprises (SME). This article considers valuation as a sociological construct where actors use different calculative devices, forming an assemblage that partly positions valuation of entrepreneurial finance as a contested and socially constructed process.

Drawing on the concept of ‘calculative devices’, the study articulates discursive institutional practices embedded within SME lending. This case study draws on analyses of 30 semi-structured interviews and archival data, government reports, and newspaper articles.

The study identified three triggers in Rwanda that were rooted in the informal and unincorporated nature of the SME governance structure; the lack of capacity for SME owners to manage their own projects; and normalising language around collateral requirements that marginalised the realities of SMEs; contributing to stagnation for SME finance.

Practical implications
The research provides direction for understanding how calculative devices create new forms of valuation of entrepreneurship in developing countries, particularly when human and non-human actors come together in an assemblage. The study calls for further research to demonstrate the embedded power of valuation practices and the performance of value in entrepreneurial finance.

The study brings new findings to the market creation literature by extending the notion of distributive calculative agency to SME finance. The study mobilises theory to interpret how discursive institutional practices are embedded within a country’s finance infrastructure, yielding unintended consequences for SME growth.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: valuation, assemblage, calculative devices, alternative finance, Rwanda, SME finance
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HG Finance
Faculty / School / Research Centre / Research Group: Faculty of Business
Faculty of Business > Department of International Business & Economics
Last Modified: 23 Mar 2020 10:23

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