ENHANCING GLOBAL COMPETITIVENESS OF U.S. SMES THROUGH SUSTAINABLE FINANCE: A REVIEW AND FUTURE DIRECTIONS

Authors

  • Adedoyin Tolulope Oyewole Independent Researcher, Georgia, USA
  • Omotayo Bukola Adeoye Independent Researcher, Chicago, Illinois, USA
  • Wilhelmina Afua Addy Independent Researcher, Maryland, USA
  • Chinwe Chinazo Okoye Access Bank Plc, Nigeria
  • Onyeka Chrisanctus Ofodile Sanctus Maris Concepts, Nigeria Ltd

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.51594/ijmer.v6i3.876

Abstract

Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) play a vital role in the economic fabric of the United States, contributing significantly to employment generation, innovation, and economic growth. Amidst increasing globalization and growing environmental concerns, the imperative for SMEs to enhance their global competitiveness while embracing sustainability has become paramount. Sustainable finance offers a promising avenue for achieving these dual objectives by integrating environmental, social, and governance (ESG) criteria into financial decision-making processes. This paper provides a comprehensive review of the literature on enhancing the global competitiveness of U.S. SMEs through sustainable finance, while also suggesting future directions for research and practice. The review highlights the growing importance of sustainability considerations in finance and the evolving landscape of sustainable finance instruments available to SMEs. It underscores the potential benefits of integrating sustainability into SME financing, including improved risk management, enhanced access to capital, increased market competitiveness, and positive environmental and social impacts. Furthermore, the review examines the challenges and barriers faced by SMEs in adopting sustainable finance practices, such as lack of awareness, limited access to expertise, and perceived costs. In proposing future directions, the paper emphasizes the need for targeted research to address the specific needs and constraints of SMEs in sustainable finance adoption. This includes exploring innovative financial instruments tailored to SMEs, enhancing financial literacy and awareness among SMEs, fostering collaboration between financial institutions, policymakers, and SMEs, and leveraging technology for scalable and cost-effective solutions. Ultimately, the paper advocates for a holistic approach that recognizes the interplay between financial, environmental, and social factors in driving SME competitiveness. By embracing sustainable finance, U.S. SMEs can not only enhance their global competitiveness but also contribute to broader societal and environmental goals, thereby fostering a more resilient and inclusive economy.

Keywords: Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs), Sustainable Finance, Global Competitiveness, Environmental, Social, Governance (ESG), Financial Inclusion, Innovation, Economic Growth.

Published

2024-03-16

Issue

Section

Articles