Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) play a vital role in economic growth worldwide but often face challenges in adhering to policies. This study investigates the relationship between policy adherence and business growth in SMEs. The study explores how policy adherence influences various aspects of SME operations and their growth trajectory through mixed-method research, including surveys and interviews with SME representatives. Descriptive analysis reveals a strong correlation between policy adherence and business growth, supported by significant statistical findings. The study confirms that SMEs operating within supportive regulatory frameworks are better equipped to withstand external shocks, create job opportunities, and enhance social welfare. Policymakers are urged to develop tailored support mechanisms, including accessible resources and simplified regulatory processes, to assist SMEs in navigating complex policy landscapes effectively. By fostering an enabling environment for SMEs, policymakers can promote inclusive and sustainable economic growth, ensuring prosperity and resilience at both local and global levels.


Policy adherence Business growth small and medium enterprises


How to Cite
AKANG, AKANINYENE UDO (MNIM). (2024). Policy Adherence And Business Growth: Exploring The Relationship In Small And Medium Enterprises. Zien Journal of Social Sciences and Humanities, 30, 1–12. https://doi.org/10.62480/zjssh.2024.vol30.pp1-12


  1. Beck, T., Demirgüç-Kunt, A., & Singer, D. (2021). SME Policy, Credit Guarantee Schemes, and Economic Growth. The World Bank.
  2. Bosma, N., Kelley, D., & Minniti, M. (2018). Global Entrepreneurship Monitor 2017/2018 Global Report. Global Entrepreneurship Research Association.
  3. Brigham, E. F., & Ehrhardt, M. C. (2013). Financial management: Theory & practice. Cengage Learning.
  4. Cascio, W. F. (2015). Managing human resources: Productivity, quality of work life, profits. McGraw-Hill Education.
  5. Doherty, N. F., & Marples, C. G. (2008). An analysis of the implementation and impact of IT governance in small and medium-sized enterprises. Journal of Information Technology, 23(4), 275-286.
  6. Dutta, S., & Crossan, M. M. (2019). Do Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises Benefit from Hiring External Advisors? Evidence from the National Small Business Survey. Journal of Small Business Management, 57(2), 406-424.
  7. Eikenberry, A. M., & Kluver, J. D. (2004). The Marketization of the Nonprofit Sector: Civil Society at Risk? Public Administration Review, 64(2), 132-140.
  8. European Commission. (2019). SMEs in the European Union: Overview of Policies Supporting Small and Medium-sized Enterprises. European Union.
  9. European Commission. (2021). Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) - Overview. European Commission - Growth.
  10. Federation of Small Businesses (FSB). (2021). The UK Small Business Index 2021: Q1. Federation of Small Businesses.
  11. Fottler, M. D., Phillips, R. L., & Glynn, J. J. (2010). Human resources management in health care: Principles and practice. Jones & Bartlett Publishers.
  12. Gibson, C. H. (2012). Financial reporting and analysis: Using financial accounting information. Cengage Learning.
  13. Greenwood, M. (2017). Environmental management and sustainability in small businesses. Routledge.
  14. Gupta, M., & Sharma, R. (2019). Impact of operational policies on SMEs’ performance: A study in the Indian context. Journal of Small Business and Entrepreneurship Development, 7(1), 1-10.
  15. Hair, J. F., Wolfinbarger, M., Money, A. H., Samouel, P., & Page, M. J. (2019). Essentials of business research methods. Routledge.
  16. Hendrickson, A. R. (2013). Information technology in small business: Issues and challenges. Information Systems Management, 30(2), 130-138.
  17. International Labour Organization (ILO). (2020). World Employment and Social Outlook: Trends 2020. ILO Publications.
  18. International Labour Organization. (2018). Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises and Decent and Productive Employment Creation. International Labour Organization.
  19. Kollmann, T., & Kuckertz, A. (2010). Evaluation uncertainty of growth determinants: Evidence from nascent entrepreneurs. Journal of Business Venturing, 25(4), 380-399.
  20. Linnenluecke, M. K., & Griffiths, A. (2010). Corporate sustainability and organizational culture. Journal of World Business, 45(4), 357-366.
  21. McKinsey & Company. (2019). SMEs in South Africa: Unlocking the potential for job creation. Retrieved from https://www.mckinsey.com/featured-insights/middle-east-and-africa/smes-in-south-africa-unlocking-the-potential-for-job-creation
  22. Mohd Nawi, M. N., & Rahman, A. A. (2018). Factors affecting small and medium enterprises’ (SMEs) adherence to environmental regulations in Malaysia: A grounded theory approach. International Journal of Law and Management, 60(5), 1257-1270.
  23. Nankervis, A. R., Baird, M., Coffey, J., & Shields, J. (2011). Human resource management: Strategy and practice. Cengage Learning.
  24. National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB). (2021). Small Business Problems & Priorities. National Federation of Independent Business.
  25. Niskala, M., & Pretorius, M. (2018). Corporate Governance Compliance and Financial Reporting Quality: Evidence from Private Firms. Journal of International Accounting Research, 17(1), 63-88.
  26. Nwachukwu, E. (2019). Corporate governance mechanisms, compliance with accounting standards and corporate performance of quoted SMEs in Nigeria. Journal of Financial Reporting and Accounting, 17(4), 608-628.
  27. Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). (2020). SME Policy Index: Eastern Partner Countries 2020: Assessing the Implementation of the Small Business Act for Europe. OECD Publishing.
  28. Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). (2020). Enhancing the Contributions of SMEs in a Global and Digitalised Economy. OECD Publishing.
  29. Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). (2019). Fostering SMEs' Participation in Global Markets: Final Report. OECD Publishing.
  30. Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). (2019). SME and Entrepreneurship Policy in Canada. Retrieved from https://www.oecd-ilibrary.org/industry-and-services/sme-and-entrepreneurship-policy-in-canada_9789264302023-en
  31. Palepu, K. G., Healy, P. M., & Peek, E. (2013). Business analysis and valuation: Using financial statements. Cengage Learning
  32. Parker, L. D., & Kirkpatrick, I. (2019). Compliance Cost Management in Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises: Insights from a UK Survey. International Small Business Journal, 37(4), 330-355.
  33. Porter, M. E. (2009). Operational effectiveness. In H. F. Gunderson & G. C. Gunderson (Eds.), Encyclopedia of leadership. Sage Publications, 3, 1025-1030.
  34. Ritter, T., & Gemünden, H. G. (2004). The impact of a company's business strategy on its technological competence, network competence and innovation success. Journal of Business Research, 57(5), 548-556.
  35. Sánchez-Franco, M. J., & Roldán, J. L. (2005). Web acceptance and usage model: A comparison between goal-directed and experiential web users. Internet Research, 15(1), 21-48.
  36. Sanghani, P. (2016). Assessing the Impact of Information Technology on Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) in Kenya. International Journal of Scientific Research and Innovative Technology, 3(5), 23-34.
  37. Schaltegger, S., & Wagner, M. (2011). Sustainable entrepreneurship and sustainability innovation: Categories and interactions. Business Strategy and the Environment, 20(4), 222-237.
  38. Schaper, M. T., Volery, T., Weber, P. C., & Gibson, B. (2014). Entrepreneurship and small business. John Wiley & Sons.
  39. Small Business Administration (SBA). (2020). Compliance Assistance: Small Entity Compliance Guide. Retrieved from https://www.sba.gov/starting-business/business-licenses-permits/state-licenses-permits#section-header-1
  40. Small Business Administration (SBA). (2020). Technical Assistance for Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises: A Guide for Practitioners. Small Business Administration.
  41. Trevino, L. K., & Weaver, G. R. (2019). Ethics Training and Information Asymmetry in Small Business. Journal of Business Ethics, 160(1), 223-240.
  42. United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO). (2017). Promoting SME Competitiveness and Innovativeness Through Clusters: A Study of East African Cluster Initiatives. Retrieved from https://www.unido.org/sites/default/files/2017-11/UNIDO_Study_of_East_African_Cluster_Initiatives_Full_Report.pdf
  43. Van Hoorn, A., Groen, B. A., & Rowe, F. (2020). Managing Regulatory Burden: A Review and Research Agenda. Journal of Small Business Management, 58(1), 50-71.
  44. World Bank Group. (2019). Doing Business 2020: Comparing Business Regulation in 190 Economies. World Bank Publications.
  45. World Bank Group. (2019). World Development Report 2019: The Changing Nature of Work. World Bank Publications.
  46. Zahra, S. A., & Wright, M. (2011). Entrepreneurship's next act. Academy of Management Perspectives, 25(4), 67-83.