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The impact of trade facilitation on African SMEs’ performance

The impact of trade facilitation on African SMEs’ performance

Hansen-Addy, Andrew E. ORCID: 0000-0002-6440-6312, Parrilli, Davide M. and Tingbani, Ishmael (2023) The impact of trade facilitation on African SMEs’ performance. Small Business Economics. ISSN 0921-898X (doi:

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Whilst contemporary literature indicates that the business environment (BE) impacts almost all entrepreneurial activities, there are indications that the unique business and institutional setting in Africa (with its challenges and opportunities) and the nature of SMEs (their strengths and weaknesses), among other factors, lead to the context-specific impact of regulations on the performance of African SMEs. Using regressions and propensity score matching methods on a panel of 39,461 firm observations (27 African countries) from the World Bank Enterprise Surveys, we unearthed evidence to suggest that whilst enabling tax administration and business licensing regulations improve SMEs’ performance, trade facilitation impedes African SMEs’ performance. Furthermore, the institutional context of competition (from foreign firms) worsens trade facilitation’s negative impact on African SMEs’ performance. These findings suggest a fine-tuning of BE regulations in African countries. Trade facilitation, for example, must be carefully thought through and implemented in a way to benefit SMEs.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: SMEs, business environment, regulations, institutional heterogeneity, performance, Africa
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HB Economic Theory
Faculty / School / Research Centre / Research Group: Faculty of Business
Faculty of Business > Networks and Urban Systems Centre (NUSC)
Last Modified: 20 Apr 2023 14:55

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