The business environment of small and medium-sized enterprises in selected regions of the Czech Republic and Slovakia

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E a M: Ekonomie a Management, ISSN: 1212-3609, Vol: 18, Issue: 1, Page: 95-110

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Belás, Jaroslav; Demjan, Valér; Habánik, Jozef; Hudáková, Mária; Sipko, Juraj
Technical University of Liberec; Technická univerzita v Liberci
Business, Management and Accounting; Economics, Econometrics and Finance; Small and medium-sized enterprises; business environment; motives for business; business risks; SMEs in society; business optimism
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The aim of this article was to define and compare current trends in the business environment of small and medium-sized enterprises in selected regions of the Czech Republic and Slovakia. In accordance with the objective, motivational factors, status in the society, levels of corruption, current business risks, approaches to loan financing, the ability to manage financial risks and business optimism in the business environment have been examined. In 2013, research into entrepreneurs’ opinions in the Czech Republic (Zlin Region) and Slovakia (Zilina and Trencin Regions) was conducted. These neighbouring regions have similar economic parameters. According to our findings, the most important motive for starting a business in the Czech Republic was to have a job. In Slovakia, the most important motive for starting a business was money. The results of our research confirmed that the societies in both countries perceived the position of entrepreneurs relatively negatively. In both countries, entrepreneurs negatively noted the approach of the state to their needs and relatively high levels of corruption. Nowadays, the most important business risk was the market risk followed by financial and personal risks. Due to a deterioration of the business environment, the performance of small and medium-sized enterprises has declined by at least 15% in both countries. In the Czech Republic, approximately 43% of entrepreneurs stated that banks accept their needs and behave appropriately to them. The positive perception of banks was significantly lower in Slovakia: 23% of entrepreneurs in the Zilina Region and 35% in the Trencin Region. Many Czech and Slovak entrepreneurs indicated that they are able to manage financial risks in their companies. Despite the significant deterioration in the business environment, SMEs demonstrate business optimism, with about 90% of the entrepreneurs in both countries believing that their company will survive the next five years.