Historical Financing of Small- and Medium-Sized Enterprises
NBER Working Paper No. 11695
We focus on the economies of the North Atlantic Core during the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries and find that an impressive variety of local financial institutions emerged to supply the needs of SMEs wherever there was sufficient demand for their services. Although these intermediaries had significant weaknesses, they were able to tap into local information networks and so extend credit to firms that were too young or small to secure funds from large regional or national institutions. In addition, by raising the return to savings for local households, they helped to mobilize significant new resources for economic development.
Published: Cull, Robert & Davis, Lance E. & Lamoreaux, Naomi R. & Rosenthal, Jean-Laurent, 2006. "Historical financing of small- and medium-size enterprises," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 30(11), pages 3017-3042, November.