The post-transition EU member countries generally have to catch up with EU most developed economies in many aspects. Access to ﬁnance problems in these countries are potentially harmful to development of entrepreneurship, innovation performance and overall growth, leading to further lagging behind more advanced market economies.
In this paper we analyse perceptions on access to ﬁnance in post-transition EU member countries. Special focus in the paper has been put on the differences between innovative and noninnovative ﬁrms. Furthermore, we seek to identify the characteristics of the ﬁrms that contribute to the gap formation. Empirical analysis in this paper relies on the latest available Business Environment Survey (BEEPS V), covering the 2012-2013 period. The sample in this study consists of 3,393 ﬁrms from eleven central and eastern European countries – EU members (Bulgaria, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Romania, Slovak Republic and Slovenia).
The analysis expectedly revealed that innovative ﬁrms perceive ﬁnancing constraints to be more important for their business, but somewhat unexpectedly the differences across countries are present. Although access to ﬁnance is more likely to be perceived as a problem by innovative ﬁrms, the ﬁrms that are either a segment of larger enterprise or established as joint venture, in general have less problems in ﬁnancing their activities. When exploring the contributors to the perceptions in access to ﬁnance gap, only one variable proved to be important – female top management. It seems that if female top managers were more equally distributed between innovative and noninnovative ﬁrms, the perceptions on access to ﬁnance gap would be smaller.