Small Business International Review https://sbir.upct.es/index.php/sbir <p><i class="ai ai-open-access ai-4x ai-fw ai-pull-left" style="color:#f6830a"></i><strong>Small Business International Review (e-ISSN 2531-0046)</strong> is a peer-reviewed e-journal devoted to the publication of original research articles concerning the broad field of SMEs. It provides <strong>Fully Open Access</strong> to its content on the principle that making research freely available to the public supports a greater global exchange of knowledge.<strong> Authors are not asked to pay Article Processing Charges (APCs) for this journal in any case</strong>. The journal offers a permanent open call for papers. The articles can be sent using the platform of the journal or can be sent by attaching the document to the address <a href="mailto:sbir@upct.es?subject=%5BSBIR%5D%20Article%20sent">sbir@upct.es</a> indicating in the subject: '[SBIR] Article sent'. To submit your manuscript through the platform <a href="/index.php/sbir/login">click here</a>.</p> <p>The editors are pleased to announce that the publishing model of the journal changed. Rather than publishing conventional complete online issues at fixed intervals, the journal moved to a <strong>continuous publication (CP) model</strong>. The central aspect of the new publishing model is that articles will be published online in their final formats (PDF and XML-JATS), with their final citation details, as soon as they have been accepted and proofread. As a result, the waiting time between submission and final publication is considerably reduced, and the article will be assigned a permanent DOI as well <a href="/index.php/sbir/about#continuouspublication">(more information)</a>. Small Business International Review averages 18-20 weeks from manuscript submission to publication with a rejection rate of 73.4%.</p> Spanish Accounting and Business Administration Association (AECA) and Universidad Politécnica de Cartagena (UPCT) en-US Small Business International Review 2531-0046 <p id="copyrightNotice">Authors who publish with this journal agree to the following terms:</p> <ol> <li class="show">Authors retain copyright and grant the journal right of first publication with the work simultaneously licensed under a <a title="Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License (CC BY-NC-SA 4.0)" href="https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/4.0/" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License (CC BY-NC-SA 4.0)</a> that allows others an non-exclusive licence to share the work with an acknowledgement of the work's authorship and initial publication in this journal, commercial uses are not permitted and, if you remix, transform, or build upon the material, you must distribute your contributions under the same license as the original.</li> <li class="show">Authors are able to enter into separate, additional contractual arrangements for the <span style="text-decoration: underline;">non-exclusive distribution</span> of the journal's published version of the work, duly noting the <em> <em>Small Business International Review</em> </em> as original source of material, including the authorship, the year of publication, number of issue, and the pages or elocation-id on which the information appears, as well as the link to the Journal’s web page using its assigned DOI link.</li> <li class="show">Authors are permitted and encouraged to post their work online (on their institutional repositories or their website) for the submitted and accepted versions , provided acknowledgement of submission or acceptance, as it can lead to productive exchanges, as well as earlier and greater citation of published work.</li> <li class="show">Explanatory note about the change of the <strong>Creative Commons License</strong>: <strong>Small Business International Review</strong> published its first two issues under a <a href="https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/" rel="license">Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0)</a>. But the editors after the knowledge of the <a title="DECLARATION OF MEXICO in favor of the Latin American Non-Commercial Open Access Ecosystem" href="http://www.accesoabiertoalyc.org/declaracion-mexico-en/" target="_blank" rel="noopener">DECLARATION OF MEXICO in favor of the Latin American Non-Commercial Open Access Ecosystem</a>&nbsp;have decided to publish from that moment through a <a title="Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License (CC BY-NC-SA 4.0)" href="https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/4.0/" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License (CC BY-NC-SA 4.0)</a> as a result of it the Vol. 2, Num. 2 (2018) is under this new version of licence as well as all new issues from now.</li> </ol> The reciprocity of perceived organizational support and employee engagement in SMEs during the COVID-19 pandemic https://sbir.upct.es/index.php/sbir/article/view/611 This paper examines the reciprocal relationship between perceived organizational support (POS) and employee engagement within small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) during the COVID-19 pandemic. During this crisis, a positive association was observed: SMEs that committed to their employees tended to see a corresponding engagement from their employees. To assess how performance influenced this relationship, the study also explored whether this reciprocal pattern varied with different levels of business performance—decreased, unchanged, or improved—relative to pre-crisis economic performance. An empirical analysis was conducted on a sample of 114 SMEs from the Andalusian region (Spain) using a regression model with mediating effects. The findings reveal that reciprocity between POS and employee engagement was evident during the pandemic and was particularly strong among SMEs belonging to the sub-sample with negative economic results. Vera Ferrón Vílchez María Eugenia Senise Barrio Rocío Llamas Sánchez Copyright (c) 2024 Vera Ferrón Vílchez, María Eugenia Senise Barrio, Rocío Llamas Sánchez https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/4.0 2024-05-09 2024-05-09 8 1 e611 e611 10.26784/sbir.v8i1.611 What are the main drivers of SMEs’ production of sustainability reports? https://sbir.upct.es/index.php/sbir/article/view/617 This study aims to deepen our understanding of the theoretical frameworks that underlie SMEs' disclosure of sustainability information. Qualitative empirical research was conducted on SMEs that proactively engage in sustainability reporting. To identify the key drivers, interviews were conducted with a sample of Spanish SMEs, and the reasons for sustainability reporting provided by informants were ranked by frequency. Our findings indicate that stakeholder theory holds a prominent position, closely followed by legitimacy theory and the resource-based view. This ranking reveals a mixture of external and internal drivers, contributing to the existing literature by emphasizing the predominance of management factors over sociological arguments in favor of sustainability reporting in SMEs. Regulators, practitioners, and academics can benefit from these findings to better understand the decision-making processes of SMEs regarding sustainability reporting practices, while accounting for their relationships in the contexts in which they operate. M. Dolores Guerrero-Baena Francisca Castilla-Polo Pablo Rodríguez-Gutiérrez Copyright (c) 2024 M. Dolores Guerrero-Baena, Francisca Castilla-Polo, Pablo Rodríguez-Gutiérrez https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/4.0 2024-05-09 2024-05-09 8 1 e617 e617 10.26784/sbir.v8i1.617 Local firms spillovers from multinationals’ exports in Switzerland https://sbir.upct.es/index.php/sbir/article/view/581 This paper aims to examine how local firms can learn from the export activities of large multinational corporations (MNCs). Arguing that MNCs’ export activities could act as catalysts for local firms, allowing them to start exporting or intensify their export volume, we hypothesize that the size and extent of export spillovers depend on the linkage between local firms and MNCs, the geographical distance between them in the home country, and the foreign export market destination in terms of psychic distance from the home market. Using Swiss manufacturing firm-level data, we found support to this learning by exporting effect through which local firms benefit from the presence of MNCs’ exporter counterparts and the export activities of their upstream MNCs’ suppliers, with particular effects of the nature and the physical location of destinations. From these findings, several important academic and practical implications are exhibited and discussed Lamia Ben Hamida Copyright (c) 2024 Lamia Ben Hamida https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/4.0 2024-02-15 2024-02-15 8 1 e581 e581 10.26784/sbir.v8i1.581 Coupled open innovation and dynamic capabilities: Their effect on low-tech micro and small firms’ innovation https://sbir.upct.es/index.php/sbir/article/view/613 This study examines the impact of coupled open innovation and dynamic capabilities processes on innovation performance. A Partial Least Square-Structural Equation Modelling (PLS-SEM) analysis on data from surveying a quota sample of 213 Tanzanian Micro and Small Furniture Industries (MSFIs) reveals that dynamic capabilities form sequential processes mediating the significantly positive effect of coupled open innovation on innovation performance. These findings underscore the synergy between dynamic capabilities and open innovation perspectives, emphasizing the importance for micro and small business managers and policymakers to cultivate complementary sets of dynamic capabilities for the effective realization of innovation performance Yohana Sesabo Mushumbusi Kato Emmanuel James Chao Copyright (c) 2023 Yohana Sesabo, Mushumbusi Kato, Emmanuel James Chao https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/4.0 2023-12-31 2023-12-31 8 1 e613 e613 10.26784/sbir.v7i2.613 Identifying the proper mix of growth-seeking strategies for Spanish SMEs: An analysis during times of economic boom and crisis https://sbir.upct.es/index.php/sbir/article/view/605 This study explores the potential effects of different combinations of growth-seeking strategies on performance in SMEs during long times of economic boom and crisis. Our hypotheses are tested on a representative sample of Spanish SMEs between 1994 and 2014. During these years Spain suffered one of the periods of greatest economic stability/growth in recent years (1994-2008), followed immediately by a period of severe crisis (2009-2014). Using dynamic panel data models, our findings reveal that four combinations exhibit a positive and statistically significant effect on performance in times of economic boom: a related product strategy combined with low, moderate, or high levels of internationalization, and an unrelated one combined with a moderate level of internationalization. Meanwhile, we find only two combinations with a positive impact on SME performance in times of crisis: a related product strategy combined with low and moderate levels of internationalization, respectively Diana Benito-Osorio Alberto Colino-Fernández Luis Ángel Guerras-Martín José Ángel Zúñiga-Vicente Copyright (c) 2023 Diana Benito-Osorio, Alberto Colino-Fernández, Luis Ángel Guerras-Martín, José Ángel Zúñiga-Vicente https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/4.0 2023-12-31 2023-12-31 8 1 e605 e605 10.26784/sbir.v7i2.605 Navigating containment challenges: A quantitative study of Ghanaian SME performance during the COVID-19 pandemic https://sbir.upct.es/index.php/sbir/article/view/587 This study aims to provide valuable insights into the containment challenges faced by Ghanaian SMEs during the COVID-19 pandemic and how these challenges impacted key performance indicators (KPIs). Utilizing the partial least square approach of structural equation modelling (PLS-SEM), data collected from a sample of 152 Ghanaian SMEs are examined. The findings underscore the adverse influence of pandemic-related containment measures on financial performance, sales performance, employee satisfaction, and customer satisfaction, while revealing an increase in online engagement as SMEs adapted their business models. Thus, this study highlights the significance of bolstering dynamic capabilities, with a particular focus on digital transformation and leveraging online platforms, as a means to enhance resilience and adaptability for SMEs amidst challenging containment conditions. Theoretical implications emphasize the crucial role of dynamic capabilities in navigating uncertainty and volatility during crises, while the practical implications offer valuable guidance for small business owners in developing economies as they strive to mitigate the impacts of containment measures during public health emergencies on their businesses Karikari Amoa-Gyarteng Shepherd Dhliwayo Victoria Adekomaya Copyright (c) 2023 Karikari Amoa-Gyarteng, Shepherd Dhliwayo, Victoria Adekomaya https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/4.0 2023-12-31 2023-12-31 8 1 e587 e587 10.26784/sbir.v7i2.587 A configurational approach to SMEs’ export activity determinants https://sbir.upct.es/index.php/sbir/article/view/612 With a perspective rooted in the resource-based view (RBV), this study focuses on analysing the configurational interaction of various strategic determinants that influence the export activity intensity of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in the Spanish agricultural sector. Five key determinants are examined –innovation, collaboration, export promotional instruments, internal resources, and export destination– adopting a qualitative comparative analysis of fuzzy sets (fsQCA) to identify combinations of conditions that lead to higher SME export activity. Based on data from 68 agricultural SMEs in Spain, results show the importance of combined strategic adoptions vis-à-vis improving SMEs’ export activity. The study contributes to the literature by providing new insights into the impact of multiple resources on the export performance of SMEs Joaquín Monreal-Pérez Omar Ifakhkharen-Rziki Copyright (c) 2023 Joaquín Monreal-Pérez, Omar Ifakhkharen-Rziki https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/4.0 2023-12-31 2023-12-31 8 1 e612 e612 10.26784/sbir.v7i2.612 Revealing the moderating impact of spatial context on the relationship between intellectual capital efficiency and the sustained success of family SMEs https://sbir.upct.es/index.php/sbir/article/view/597 This study investigates the behavioral patterns of Small and Medium-Sized Family Firms (SMFFs) in terms of translating intellectual capital efficiency into economic performance while considering their geographical location. The findings underscore the paramount importance of effective intellectual capital management in driving business performance, particularly for SMFFs, drawing upon the knowledge-based perspective. In line with behavioral theory, this study also provides empirical evidence demonstrating that SMFFs located in rural areas adeptly navigate locational challenges by effectively translating their Added Value Intellectual Coefficient (VAIC) into sustainable performance, thereby outperforming their urban counterparts. This phenomenon, referred to as SMFF heterogeneity, can be attributed to their profound emotional connection and deep-rooted bonds with their local communities, intensifying their commitment to the regional milieu. Consequently, their success becomes intricately linked with the spatial context they inhabit. In this regard, this research offers significant practical and theoretical contributions to the understanding of SMFFs, shedding light on the interplay between intellectual capital, geographic location, and sustainable performance in the intricate landscape of family firms María del Carmen López Taravilla Montserrat Manzaneque-Lizano Jesús Fernando Santos-Peñalver Carolina Feliciana Machado Copyright (c) 2023 María del Carmen López Taravilla, Montserrat Manzaneque-Lizano, Jesús Fernando Santos-Peñalver, Carolina Feliciana Machado https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/4.0 2023-12-31 2023-12-31 8 1 e597 e597 10.26784/sbir.v7i2.597 Knowledge management requirements for information systems in small ventures: A fuzzy-set qualitative comparative analysis (fsQCA) https://sbir.upct.es/index.php/sbir/article/view/570 Knowledge management and information systems have garnered increased attention for their potential to enhance venture performance. However, there is limited research on the specific competences of information systems based on knowledge management within the context of micro and small businesses. This study aims to fill this gap by examining small businesses in the entrepreneurship field to determine whether they recognize the importance of these competences. The research focuses on a sample of 70 small businesses operating in lower-middle-income economies and employs a fuzzy-set qualitative comparative analysis (fsQCA) methodology. The findings reveal that smaller businesses acknowledge the significance of information systems competences in facilitating their organizational development and that these ventures are increasingly exposed to the value of knowledge management in their day-to-day operations. This study contributes to the existing literature by shedding light on the role of smaller businesses in lower-middle-income economies. Aaron A. Vargas-Zeledon Copyright (c) 2023 Aaron A. Vargas-Zeledon https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/4.0 2023-06-27 2023-06-27 8 1 e570 e570 10.26784/sbir.v7i1.570 What business model factors make SMEs more profitable? https://sbir.upct.es/index.php/sbir/article/view/542 The aim of this article is to detect the business model factors that increase firm performance. To carry out this research, a survey was conducted among the CEOs of seventy companies in the Region of Murcia, Spain, belonging to different sectors of economic activity. The empirical evidence obtained indicates that the characteristics of a company's business model affect its performance and future viability. In this sense, the article confirms that the business model factors that contribute to improving the future viability of a firm are mainly innovation, professionalization of the economic-financial area, investment in employees, and strengthening of the commercial area. Therefore, firms that wish to improve their long-term performance should especially strengthen these characteristics of the business model. José Miguel Ortiz García de las Bayonas María Concepción Parra Meroño Gonzalo Wandosell Fernández de Bobadilla Copyright (c) 2023 José Miguel Ortiz García de las Bayonas, María Concepción Parra Meroño, Gonzalo Wandosell Fernández de Bobadilla https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/4.0 2023-05-22 2023-05-22 8 1 e542 e542 10.26784/sbir.v7i1.542 Entrepreneurial orientation, company performance, and competitive advantage in Indonesian culinary SMEs https://sbir.upct.es/index.php/sbir/article/view/547 This study examines the impact of entrepreneurial orientation on company performance and competitive advantage in the context of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). Based on 100 SMEs in the culinary sector in Indonesia and using a quantitative approach based on PLS-SEM data analysis, our study reveals that entrepreneurial orientation influences company performance through competitive advantage. This research will help SME owners and managers to deal with the required entrepreneurial orientation without taking excessive risks that could be detrimental to company performance and competitive advantage. Randitya Perdana Arum Prasasti Copyright (c) 2023 Randitya Perdana, Arum Prasasti https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/4.0 2023-04-03 2023-04-03 8 1 e547 e547 10.26784/sbir.v7i1.547 Managerial concentration, ownership concentration, and firm value: Evidence from Spanish SMEs https://sbir.upct.es/index.php/sbir/article/view/541 Various corporate governance theories indicate that governance in small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) differs to that of larger corporations due to the ownership-management function within the organizational structure. This article provides empirical evidence of enhanced firm value in a sample of listed SMEs resulting from certain corporate governance mechanisms related to managerial and ownership concentration. The empirical analysis conducted in this paper is based on a panel data set consisting of 108 small and medium-sized public firms on the Spanish alternative stock exchange over a time frame of five years (2015-2019). The results suggest that CEO duality, the controlling shareholders, and the second largest shareholders all improve firm value. Conversely, the ratio of independent directors has a negative impact on firm value. These findings are robust to alternative model specifications such as dynamic panel estimators (Generalized Method of Moments -GMM-) and instrumental variable methods. Overall, we show that the governance configuration of listed SMEs can mitigate several of the central issues, such as agency problems, that large corporations face. Leslie Rodríguez-Valencia Prosper Lamothe Fernández Copyright (c) 2023 Leslie Rodríguez-Valencia, Prosper Lamothe Fernández https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/4.0 2023-03-07 2023-03-07 8 1 e541 e541 10.26784/sbir.v7i1.541 The effects of organizational learning and entrepreneurial orientation on the corporate performance of Argentinean, Mexican, and Ecuadorian MSMEs https://sbir.upct.es/index.php/sbir/article/view/503 The aim of this study is to analyze the effects of Organizational Learning (OL) and Entrepreneurial Orientation (EO) on the profitability of MSMEs. To this end, field research was conducted on a sample of 1,620 companies located in Argentina (630), Mexico (550), and Ecuador (440). The data collection was carried out between May and September 2020, through a structured questionnaire addressed to the highest level of the company. The results were analyzed and validated using the partial least square (PLS) structural equation modeling (SEM) statistical technique. This work contributes to the development of the literature on dynamic capabilities, social capital theory, and stakeholder theory. Our results reveal that Entrepreneurial Orientation is a determinant variable for generating better Environmental Corporate Social Responsibility (ESCR) practices and is key to increasing the financial profitability of MSMEs. Furthermore, it is found that ESCR is a variable that partially mediates between EO and the Performance of MSMEs. Nicolás Salvador Beltramino Luis Enrique Valdez-Juárez Juan Marcelo Ingaramo Lilia Carina Gazzaniga Natalia Andrea Beltramino Copyright (c) 2023 Nicolás Salvador Beltramino, Luis Enrique Valdez-Juárez, Juan Marcelo Ingaramo, Lilia Carina Gazzaniga, Natalia Andrea Beltramino https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/4.0 2023-03-07 2023-03-07 8 1 e503 e503 10.26784/sbir.v7i1.503 Whistleblowing in small and large accounting firms in Brazil https://sbir.upct.es/index.php/sbir/article/view/502 Organizations must constantly try to prevent losses resulting from unforeseen events and fraud. Whistleblowing has emerged as the most efficient mechanism for detecting such risks, but this phenomenon has not yet been studied in SMEs. This research seeks to analyze the relationships between attitudinal, normative, and control beliefs on the whistleblowing of accounting professionals, contrasting the behavior between small and large accounting firms from the perspective of the Theory of Planned Behavior. By using the structural equation modeling (PLS-SEM) method on a sample of 559 Brazilian accounting professionals, the analysis shows that an individual’s perceptions and characteristics influence their whistleblowing practices depending on firm size. SME accountants are directly and negatively influenced by family management and control beliefs, but are positively influenced by the moderation of attitudinal beliefs and by the risks of the scenario. Jonatas Dutra Sallaberry Isabel Martínez-Conesa Leonardo Flach Copyright (c) 2022 Jonatas Dutra Sallaberry, Isabel Martínez-Conesa, Leonardo Flach https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/4.0 2022-12-20 2022-12-20 8 1 e502 e502 10.26784/sbir.v6i2.502 Does employee management influence the continued use of telework after the COVID-19 pandemic? https://sbir.upct.es/index.php/sbir/article/view/537 This paper analyses the intention of Spanish companies to continue using telework after the end of the COVID-19 pandemic. With this aim, we consider the influence that the management of several variables related to one of the key stakeholders, employees, has on this intention. This line of study is of great interest, given the implications not only for the management of companies, but also for key aspects such as the goals of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. To this end, we start with a review of the relevant literature on this topic, which allows us to raise various research hypotheses. This is followed by an analysis of a sample of 1,879 Spanish SMEs though a binary logistic regression model, which shows the positive influence of managers’ university education and companies’ orientation towards innovation on the use of telework after the pandemic. Inés González-González María Pilar Martínez-Ruiz José Antonio Clemente-Almendros Copyright (c) 2022 Inés González-González, María Pilar Martínez-Ruiz, José Antonio Clemente-Almendros https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/4.0 2022-12-15 2022-12-15 8 1 e537 e537 10.26784/sbir.v6i2.537 The relationship between formalization of HRM function and HRM intensity in SMEs: An empirical investigation in Sri Lanka https://sbir.upct.es/index.php/sbir/article/view/529 Human resource management (HRM) intensity is important for any type of business in which human resources play a vital role. However, little is known about HRM intensity in the context of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). The aim of this study is to investigate the relationship between the formalization of HRM function and HRM intensity. The sample of the study consists of medium-sized enterprises operating in Sri Lanka. The results show that although the formalization of HRM function is low, HRM intensity is high. The findings also show that higher levels of formalization lead to a greater intensity in HRM practices. Vathsala Wickramasinghe Copyright (c) 2022 Vathsala Wickramasinghe https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/4.0 2022-12-12 2022-12-12 8 1 e529 e529 10.26784/sbir.v6i2.529 How founder-entrepreneurs from Chinese high-tech SMEs assess market risks and explore new opportunities for growth and survival during COVID-19 https://sbir.upct.es/index.php/sbir/article/view/504 Founder-entrepreneurs in SMEs tend to have an active role in shaping the business and the direction and management of their innovation strategies. During COVID-19, their understanding of risks and approach towards decision making has become very crucial as the market sensitivity changed drastically with various levels of challenges such as travel restrictions, national lockdown, reduced market demand and operational uncertainty. So far, there are very limited studies on the role of the founder-entrepreneurs from Chinese high-tech software SMEs in managing the business risks from the pandemic. This paper will address some of these gaps by presenting case studies of 9 successful high-tech software SMEs in China and discuss how their founder-entrepreneurs have engaged with the market, identified COVID-19 related risks and how they have made critical decisions to survive and explore new market opportunities for growth. As part of a longitudinal study, in-depth interviews were conducted with the founder-entrepreneurs at various stages of the pandemic to explore their progress with the business operation and management. The paper will discuss the role of the founder-entrepreneurs from SMEs in risk analysis and decision-making. It makes an important contribution to the growing literature on Chinese SMEs, and COVID-19. Yanzhi Huang Bidyut Baruah Anthony Ward Copyright (c) 2022 Yanzhi Huang, Bidyut Baruah, Anthony Ward https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/4.0 2022-09-28 2022-09-28 8 1 e504 e504 10.26784/sbir.v6i2.504 Understanding how digital transformation can enable SMEs to achieve sustainable development: A systematic literature review https://sbir.upct.es/index.php/sbir/article/view/473 Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are key drivers of economic growth and development. Innovation through digital transformation has the capacity to enable sustainability, competitiveness and customisation in products and services. However, adoption of digital technologies by SMEs to underpin sustainability outcomes is poorly understood. A systematic literature review identified an initial dataset of 1300 articles, which after screening and application of exclusion criteria resulted in a dataset of 64 articles for synthesis. Analysis was carried out according to three main areas, namely the technology aspects of digital transformation, sustainable development according to the triple bottom line (i.e. economic, environmental and social aspects), and the business characteristics of SMEs. In the latter case, business strategy and management, organizational structure, organizational culture, skills and qualifications, and leadership factors are identified from the literature. Furthermore, literature expressing the triple bottom line dimensions and the type of Industry 4.0 technology areas adopted are synthesized. Correlation of the data through bibliographic analysis is provided on the type of technology enabling SMEs towards a pathway for sustainable development as well as synthesis of future research directions arising from the study. Simon Philbin Radhakrishnan Viswanathan Arnesh Telukdarie Copyright (c) 2022 Simon Philbin, Radhakrishnan Viswanathan, Arnesh Telukdarie https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/4.0 2022-05-31 2022-05-31 8 1 e473 e473 10.26784/sbir.v6i1.473 Does informal finance matter for micro and small businesses in Africa? https://sbir.upct.es/index.php/sbir/article/view/415 Globally, micro and small businesses require finance to support their business activities. Most of them have low profits because of the lack of support from the formal financial system. Micro and small businesses in developing countries have a dire need for financing start-ups and existing business operations. The lack of support from the formal financial system and the government forces them to explore other financial support mechanisms, making it important to investigate alternative financial channels. This paper investigates whether informal finance matters for micro and small businesses. We used a systematic literature review to answer the predetermined research question. Thirty (30) primary studies were surveyed to establish the importance of informal finance for micro and small businesses. The findings show that informal finance is a workable alternative for micro and small businesses. It supports business start-ups, existing businesses and enhances business growth, business owners’ livelihoods and livelihoods in their communities. Informal finance models can be improved to work as small business promotion tools. The original value of the paper is based on the use of a systematic literature review to assess whether informal finance matters for micro and small businesses and connect theories with emerging themes. It further contributes to the debates on the importance of informal finance and contributes to future lines of research on informal finance. Stephen Mago Florah Sewela Modiba Copyright (c) 2022 Stephen Mago, Florah Sewela Modiba https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/4.0 2022-03-14 2022-03-14 8 1 e415 e415 10.26784/sbir.v6i1.415 Determinants of the capital structure of small and medium enterprises: Empirical evidence in the public works and hydraulics sector from Algeria https://sbir.upct.es/index.php/sbir/article/view/408 This study aims to identify the determinants of the capital structure of SMEs in Algeria during the period 2010-2018. Where a sample consists of 20 SMEs from the Public Works and Hydraulics sector. The study used financial leverage as the dependent variable and assets structure, profitability, liquidity, and size as independent variables. The study used Panel Data methods for testing the hypothesis. The results show that profitability, liquidity, and assets structure are negatively related to financial leverage, while size does not affect the financial leverage. The results indicate that SMEs in Algeria rely on their internal resources to finance their activities. Ishaq Hacini Khadra Mohammedi Khadra Dahou Copyright (c) 2022 Ishaq Hacini, Khadra Mohammedi, Khadra Dahou https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/4.0 2022-02-04 2022-02-04 8 1 e408 e408 10.26784/sbir.v6i1.408