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  • Author: Goran Karanović x
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Abstract

Recent research demonstrates that entrepreneurs who learn contribute to lower failure rates of their startups. Nowhere is this more evident than in the area of financial management, where the entrepreneurs’ lack of skills and competencies – and their willingness to acquire them - can be a critical factor to the success of the business venture. The purpose of this paper is to examine the financial management practices among Croatian entrepreneurs in relation to budgeting, raising capital, cash flow management, and the use of ICT tools for enhanced efficiency of their businesses. The survey was conducted on a sample of 58 entrepreneurs whose answers provide valuable insight into their grasp of financial concepts in the context of smart ICT use. The ensuing analysis of the level of proficiency in combining smart tools with financial management reveals increased adoption of ICT practices for budgeting and purchasing among Croatian entrepreneurs. Additionally, the findings indicate that the entrepreneurs’ acquisition of skills and competencies for smart financial management presents a sound basis for increased overall financial sustainability of the startups.

Abstract

Capital structure refers to the delicate balance between equity and debt that a company uses to finance its assets. It is typically expressed as a debt-to-equity or debt-to-capital ratio, with the components usually located on the right side of the company’s balance sheet. Capital structure can exert great influence on the company’s risk profile and ability to leverage its operations. For this reason, the authors conducted an investigation of the capital structure of 16 joint stock companies listed on the Zagreb Stock Exchange comprising CROBEX, the equity index of Croatia for a three-year period starting in 2015 and ending in 2017. The study demonstrates that many CROBEX-listed companies are very risk averse and choose to remain debt-free. Some are, however, starting to discover the potential offered by financial leverage and have slowly started adjusting their capital structure. In conclusion, capital structure is slowly becoming an issue worthy of discussion on the corporate agendas in Croatia.

Abstract

Background: The issue of graduates’ competencies is not a new one, but was brought back into the spotlight after the 2007-2008 Global Financial Crisis and the ensuing disturbances in the labour market. These disturbances were manifested through an increased unemployment rate, with a significant share of highly educated people.

Objectives: This paper provides an insight into employers’ assessment of the importance and sufficiency of the competencies acquired by business and economics university bachelor graduates in Croatia.

Methods/Approach: The methodology applied in this research includes the importance-performance analysis (IPA) that provides a two-dimensional importance-satisfaction grid. Data for the IPA analysis were collected by the structured questionnaire.

Results: Results indicated that employers are satisfied with specific competencies (business and economic) and that the emphasis of business and economics higher education institutions (HEI) should be placed on generic competencies.

Conclusions: Findings imply that mobility of highly educated people could be caused by the level and quality of specific competencies of bachelors with a degree from Croatian economics higher education institutions. Additionally, the conclusion of the conducted study indicates a need for implementation of student-oriented teaching methods, the introduction of obligatory internship, and introduction of courses oriented towards the development of generic competencies.