Journal of Business Economics

, Volume 83, Issue 5, pp 471–503 | Cite as

The financial structure of innovative SMEs in Germany

  • Detlev Hummel
  • Boris Karcher
  • Christian Schultz
Original Paper


In politics and business the special role of innovative businesses whose research and development activities expedite technological progress has received steady attention. Especially small and medium sized businesses (SMEs) have initiated promising innovation projects. However, when analysing these projects our research must take into account that SMEs cannot be viewed as a homogeneous business category. Moreover, financing their innovations, SMEs are subject to unique issues. To shed light on these problems, this study will develop an index measuring degrees of innovation. It allows the 171 sample companies to be categorised into three groups: non-innovative, moderately innovative or highly innovative. A multinomial logistic regression is used to examine the quality of this typology. In addition, group-specific differences in the financing mix are demonstrated. Finally, from a theoretical point of view, the implications of the pecking order theory are basically validated. On the other hand, the concept of the financial growth cycle does not deliver satisfactory results.


Small and medium-sized business financing SMEs Degree of innovation Innovation financing Financing of innovative businesses 

JEL Classification

G32 O31 O39 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Detlev Hummel
    • 1
  • Boris Karcher
    • 1
  • Christian Schultz
    • 2
  1. 1.Lehrstuhl für Betriebswirtschaftslehre mit Schwerpunkt Finanzierung und Banken, Universität PotsdamPotsdamGermany
  2. 2.Lehrstuhl für Innovationsmanagement und Entrepreneurship, Universität PotsdamPotsdamGermany

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