Approach of the SME Entrepreneurs to Financial Risk Management in Relation to Gender and Level of Education

Abstract

Financial risk management is an important area of management of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). The ability of SMEs to grow highly depends on their potential to invest money to the development of their companies. These investments need capital and therefore an access to internal or external financial sources. Many authors agree that SMEs have restricted access to external sources of financing. The aim of this article is to define and compare important determinants of financial risk in the segment of small and medium-sized enterprises. The research of entrepreneurs' opinions was carried out in 2015 in the Czech Republic, and was focused of the investigation of the influence of such factors as gender and level of education of entrepreneurs on the approach to financial risk management. We found out that three quarters of entrepreneurs in the segment of SMEs in the Czech Republic perceive the intense action of financial risk, but at the same time their ability to properly manage financial risks in the segment of SMEs is not at an appropriate level. The importance of financial risk increased during the crisis, which is reflected in the challenging approach of SMEs to external funding. We found that only relatively small number of entrepreneurs creates the financial reserves in their companies, and so this approach does not have the significant weight in the SME segment. Significant differences in approaches of the SME entrepreneurs to financial risk management in relation to gender and level of education were not identified.