Seven Stages of SME Growth – One Common Problem: The Challenge of Financing Small Businesses Across Their Life Cycle

There’s an endless variety of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the world, varying widely in size and capacity for growth, and facing a vast array of different challenges and opportunities. So it might seem impossible to categorize the problems and growth patterns these SMEs face in a systematic way that is useful to entrepreneurs and small business owners. However, these businesses often experience similar problems that arise at similar stages in their development. These points of similarity can be organized into a framework that increases our understanding of the nature, characteristics and problems of SMEs – from those with just one or two employees, to the fast-growing tech startups of today.

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