Title: Predicting bankruptcy among SMEs: evidence from Swedish firm-level data

Authors: Darush Yazdanfar

Addresses: Department of Social Sciences, Mid Sweden University, Regementsgatan 25-27, Östersund 831 25, Sweden

Abstract: The failure rate of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in Sweden is high, with about 6,000 SMEs claiming bankruptcy every year. This paper attempts to identify the main prediction variables that are believed to forecast the failure of Swedish SMEs. The research is principally based on an analysis of a panel data sample consisting of 1,412 bankrupt and 3,084 non-bankrupt Swedish SMEs for the period 2004 to 2006. The statistical technique of logistic regression model is employed to analyse the data. The results, which have a high rate of accuracy, indicate that a set of six variables are significant as bankruptcy predictors: the ratio of short-term debt to total assets, total leverage (the ratio of short- and long-term debt to total assets), change in total assets from the previous year, firm size (natural logarithm of sales), financial expenses to total debt, and return on assets.

Keywords: failure determinants; bankruptcy prediction; SME finance; credit risk management; financial ratio; Sweden; SME failure; small and medium-sized enterprises; SMEs; SME bankruptcies.

DOI: 10.1504/IJESB.2011.043475

International Journal of Entrepreneurship and Small Business, 2011 Vol.14 No.4, pp.551 - 565

Available online: 01 Nov 2011 *

Full-text access for editors Access for subscribers Purchase this article Comment on this article