This article aims to investigate whether the Internet finance, which is considered as the fresh force of the new financial industry and the gravedigger of the traditional financial industry, can exert a positive influence on the innovation activities of SMEs or not. For this purpose, this article makes attempt to conduct from the following aspects. First, it discusses the relationship between Internet finance and SMEs’ innovation and its action mechanism based on the theory of financial development. Additionally, it reveals the possible influence of entrepreneur heterogeneity on the innovation relationship between Internet finance and SMEs according to the high order theory and the social capital theory. Based on the above theoretical foundation, relevant research hypotheses are proposed. Second, employing the 1,857 questionnaire survey data for SMEs and the data of 202 P2P online lending platforms matched with their location, this article tests the proposed research hypotheses. Finally, the results show that: （1） regional development of Internet finance significantly promote the innovation input and frequency of SMEs; （2） the higher the education level of entrepreneurs is, the more significantly Internet finance exerts a positive influence on SMEs’ innovation; （3） entrepreneur tenure impacts the relationship between Internet finance and SMEs’ innovation in the form of reversed U-shape, showing a positive mediation effect when the tenure is within 6 years and a negative mediation effect when over 6 years. Furthermore, after relaxing the scope of geographical restrictions, it is found that the positive influence of Internet finance on the innovation of SMEs is only reflected in the local area. The possible reason for this phenomenon is that the early stage of the Internet financial review system and the information processing mechanism is still to be improved, which leads to the current situation that Internet financial institutions still have a low efficiency of capital allocation for SMEs with small loans. The results pave new ways for the explanation about the micro mechanism of finance and economic development, and simultaneously provide practical support for our Internet finance development and SMEs’ innovation financing. Considering that it is difficult through corporate internal financing alone to meet the SMEs’ innovation needs, the government should actively promote the further development of Internet finance, and effectively expand innovative financing channels and financing efficiency of SMEs. It is significantly meaningful for SMEs to obtain new power of innovation. Besides, attention should be paid to the special role of entrepreneurs in innovative financing through Internet financial channels in SMEs. The Internet finance financing mortgage mode, depending on not only the physical assets but also the borrower’s credit, is unique enough to be treated specially. Entrepreneurs’ educational qualifications, experiences and social capital all have led to different credit scores on the Internet credit platform, which will further affect the loan-obtaining success rate of SMEs. Therefore, for SMEs, the attempt to combine entrepreneurial heterogeneity with the Internet credit scoring mechanism is conducive to alleviate the shortage of innovative financing collateral.
Internet Finance, Entrepreneur Heterogeneity and Small and Micro Enterprises’ Innovation
Foreign Economics & Management Vol. 40, Issue 09, pp. 42 - 54 (2018) DOI:10.16538/j.cnki.fem.2018.09.004
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Cite this article
Zhang Yuming, Chi Dongmei. Internet Finance, Entrepreneur Heterogeneity and Small and Micro Enterprises’ Innovation[J]. Foreign Economics & Management, 2018, 40(9): 42-54.