DOI: JEL codes: D23, D40, D61, G20, G21, L22, O32, O33

Piotr Łasak, Ph.D. Hab., Associate Professor, Institute of Economics, Finance and Management, Jagiellonian University, ul. Prof. S. Łojasiewicza 4, 30-348 Kraków, Poland, e-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Running a business today is becoming more complex than two or three decades ago. The world is becoming increasingly open and globalized, and the production processes of goods and provision of services are inscribed in global supply and value-added chains. Large corporations are doing well in such a market, but small and medium-sized enterprises often find it increasingly difficult to function. In addition, apart from the processes exerting pressure on enterprises operating in the real economy, as a result of financial globalization, the scope of financial entities (banks, investment funds, stock exchanges) was also increasing (Knox-Hayes & Wójcik, 2020). However, this is a phase of the past. Currently, not only crossing borders but, above all, far-reaching digitalization and the development of modern technologies set the main direction for the development of enterprises (Florek-Paszkowska et al., 2021). In order to cope with these changes, both individual companies and entire sectors, public administration, and society, as well as national economies, have to make so-called digital transformation (Gajewski et al., 2016). More profound changes are triggered by sustainability, ecology, and human-oriented goals, leading towards industry 5.0. All these processes exert pressure both on big companies as well as on small- and medium-size enterprises.

The ongoing changes related to the digitalization process mean not only incorporating modern technologies into existing entities and structures but are much more critical. They are spiritus movens, leading to the transformation of entire sectors of the real economy and the financial markets (Marszk & Lechman, 2021). We can observe the emergence of ecologies and ecosystems (Gancarczyk & Rodil-Marzábal, 2022; Piątkowski & Urbaniec, 2023), mechanisms leading to the development of sharing economies (Szpringer, 2020), as well as the increasing rooting and linking of traditional financial services with services leading to meeting the needs of society. Financial services are embedded in products and become inseparable from these products, and the traditional division into sectors is gradually disappearing. This is possible thanks to the creation of platforms which connect many market participants (Sironi, 2021).

In the context of the abovementioned far-reaching processes, many business entities operate according to traditional principles. The key for them are sales, profit and liquidity, which define the crucial financial performance. Among important aspects are also such issues as maintaining the security of business operations and obtaining the desired market indicators in stock companies. For enterprises from developing countries, the basic problem is access to finance, the market, and advanced technologies (Jalil et al., 2022; Łasak, 2022). In developed countries, enterprises also encounter many challenges related to the traditional corporate finance dimension despite a better situation.

The current Issue published in the Journal of Entrepreneurship, Management and Innovation (Volume 19, Issue 4, 2023) is aimed at considering the nexus of topics related to the various aspects of the functioning of financial and non-financial enterprises. The main purpose of the articles is to focus on selected problems related to the financial aspects of business activity. The considered problems were presented in the context of contemporary processes taking place in the environment of enterprises. These include, on the one hand, far-reaching digitalization and the use of advanced technologies and, on the other hand, processes belonging to the Environment, Social, and Governance (ESG) area.

A description of the situation faced by many enterprises, including financial institutions, undergoing digital transformation is presented in the article written by Łasak and Wyciślak (2023). Digitalization processes not only lead to far-reaching digitization of enterprises and related dilemmas regarding corporate governance but also the transformation of entire sectors of the industry. The banking sector is the best example of this. The question arises what is the pattern of behavior of digital platform partners in the situation of transformation of this sector and platformization of banking services? The paper aims to present the dynamic pattern of behavior among partners stemming from the tensions between governance costs and co-created value within platforms in banking services. The study provides a taxonomy of digital platforms in banking, highlights the values of the most typical platforms, namely blockchain-based and cloud-based platforms, and discusses the potential implications of the platformization of banking services.

One of the key contemporary perspectives of business activity is looking through the prism of the need for a responsible and sustainable approach. This is the perspective embodied in the approach referred to by the term ESG. Sustainable business models, considering the ESG principles in the company’s operation, are based on financial and non-financial reasons. The paper written by Zioło, Szaruga, and Spoz (2023) aims to examine the relationship between financial and non-financial factors in enterprises and indicate for which groups of enterprises the relationship of ESG financial performance is most visible in the context of building sustainable business models and the ability to adapt to sustainability. It was found that large enterprises with a solid financial position simultaneously get better non-financial results. In each of the analyzed aspects, large enterprises with an excellent financial standing did better.

The conclusion presented by Zioło, Szaruga, and Spoz (2023) does not change the fact that small and medium-sized enterprises play a key role in the economic growth of emerging economies. The paper by Amoa-Gyarteng and Dhliwayo (2023) examines the impact of capital structure and profitability on the short-term solvency of nascent SMSs in Ghana, building on the liability of the newness framework. The study demonstrates that financing decisions and financial performance are crucial mitigating factors for the potential risks of default and failure faced by nascent SMEs. Notably, the study finds that an appropriate balance between debt and equity financing raises the working capital ratio and thus reduces the liability of newness, which is a major challenge faced by nascent SMEs. The analysis also identifies that return on equity (ROE) is a crucial driver of short-term solvency for nascent SMEs. Declining profitability is manifested by a decrease in operating profits and cash flows. The resulting cash flow shortages can cause the company to fall behind on payments and obligations, leading to short-term insolvency, with all the adverse consequences. All these conclusions might be valuable for enterprises in other developing countries.

Operational and financial market performance is a crucial determinant not only for SMEs but also for larger companies. Such type of businesses is presented in the paper by Yaşar and Gerede (2023). The article shows how complex are the processes accompanying the functioning of such enterprises as airlines. This paper refers to the competitiveness of such airline companies and the conditions determining their favorable market position and long-term competitive advantage. The market position of such companies is influenced by such factors like firm maturity, its size, financial resources and some technical dimensions (number of flights, fleet homogeneity). This means that despite the processes taking place today, the business performance of such entities as airlines still depends on the classic factors described in the literature of corporate finance.

The contemporary opportunities resulting from the dynamic development of information technology contribute to the development of new forms of financing business activity. One such form is crowdfunding. The paper by Nose and Hosomi (2023) is dedicated to the equity crowdfunding (ECF) issue in the Japanese context. The research provides an answer to the question of what makes equity crowdfunding successful. The “Signaling Hypothesis” and “Lack of Financial Literacy Hypothesis” were tested. Despite the research is focusing more on investors’ side, it also sends an important signal to the business considering crowdfunding as a source of funding. The conclusions can be helpful for start-ups planning ECF campaigns in the future.

The company’s position on the market may also depend on factors other than financial performance, and recently, it has depended to an increasing extent on environmental, social, and governance performance (defining corporate sustainability performance). In this context very important research thread is the relationship between corporate sustainability performance and stability of dividend payouts. This topic is presented in the paper by Matuszewska-Pierzynka, Mrzygłód, and Pieloch-Babiarz (2023). The research verifies many detailed interdependencies between the ESG performance of an enterprise and the propensity to pay stable dividends to the enterprise.

The possibility of financing business activity is determined by the situation in the banking sector. The conditions of financing provided by banks are of particular importance in the case of developing countries, where other forms of raising capital by enterprises are often limited. Shaikh, Tunio, and Dagar (2023) paper discusses the relationship between banks funding liquidity, capital funds and bankers’ lending activity in emerging markets. This research firstly provides insight into the activity of financial companies in emerging markets, and secondly, informs the public, and especially the business, about the lending practices of the banking sector, and in consequence, on the financing opportunities in these economies.

These unique studies presented in this Issue enrich our knowledge about contemporary business activity. The papers contribute to understanding the nature of business performance and link corporate finance issues with other, mainly technological and social aspects. Particular attention, however, is paid to the traditional conditions of operation and financing of enterprises. At the same time, however, efforts were made to combine new business conditions, including digitization. The issues raised also concern processes ensuring sustainable development. We want to express the hope that the papers presented here will be of interest to readers, scholars, and researchers worldwide. They provide theoretical concepts, and quantitative analyses, and indicate pathways for further research. Many of the presented areas require further, in-depth analysis.


The editorial work on this Issue was supported by a grant from the Faculty of Management and Social Communication under the Strategic Programme Excellence Initiative at Jagiellonian University.


Amoa-Gyarteng, K., & Dhliwayo, S. (2023). Capital structure, profitability, and short-term solvency of nascent SMEs in Ghana: An empirical study. Journal of Entrepreneurship, Management, and Innovation, 19(4), 85-112.

Florek-Paszkowska, A., Ujwary-Gil, A., & Godlewska-Dzioboń, B. (2021). Business innovation and critical success factors in the era of digital transformation and turbulent times. Journal of Entrepreneurship, Management and Innovation, 17(4), 7–28.

Gajewski, J. M., Paprocki, W., & Pieriegud, J. (Eds.). (2016). Cyfryzacja gospodarki i społeczeństwa: szanse i wyzwania dla sektorów infrastrukturalnych. Gdańsk: Instytut Badań nad Gospodarką Rynkową. Gdańska Akademia Bankowa.

Gancarczyk, M., & Rodil-Marzábal, Ó. (2022). Fintech framing financial ecologies: Conceptual and policy-related implications. Journal of Entrepreneurship, Management and Innovation 18(4), 7–44.

Jalil, M.F., Ali, A., & Ahmed, Z. (2022). Microfinance services and MSE growth in Pakistan: The mediating perspective of social and psychological capital. Journal of Entrepreneurship, Management and Innovation 18(1), 93–130.

Knox-Hayes, J., & Wójcik, D. (Eds.). (2020). The Routledge Handbook of Financial Geography. New York: Taylor & Francis.

Łasak, P., & Wyciślak, S. (2023). Blockchain and cloud platforms in banking services: A paradox perspective. Journal of Entrepreneurship, Management, and Innovation, 19(4), 13-48.

Łasak, P. (2022). The role of financial technology and entrepreneurial finance practices in funding small and medium-sized enterprises. Journal of Entrepreneurship, Management and Innovation, 18(1), 7–34.

Marszk, A., & Lechman, E. (2021). The Digitalization of Financial Markets: The Socioeconomic Impact of Financial Technologies. London: Routledge.

Matuszewska-Pierzynka, A., Mrzygłód, U., & Pieloch-Babiarz, A. (2023). ESG performance and dividend stability of the world’s largest enterprises. Journal of Entrepreneurship, Management, and Innovation, 19(4), 187-220.

Nose, Y., & Hosomi , C. (2023). What makes equity crowdfunding successful in Japan? Testing the signaling and lack of financial literacy hypotheses. Journal of Entrepreneurship, Management, and Innovation, 19(4), 149-186.

Piątkowski, M., & Urbaniec, M. (2023). Ekosystem przedsiębiorczości. Uwarunkowania i źródła finansowania. Warszawa: Difin.

Shaikh, E., Tunio, M.N., & Dagar, V. (2023). Funding liquidity on bank lending growth: The case of India. Journal of Entrepreneurship, Management, and Innovation, 19(4), 221-242.

Sironi, P. (2021). Banks and Fintech on Platform Economies: Contextual and Conscious Banking. 1st edition. Chichester, West Sussex, United Kingdom: Wiley.

Szpringer, W. (2020). Platformy cyfrowe i gospodarka współdzielenia. Warszawa: Poltext.

Zioło, M., Szaruga, E., & Spoz, A. (2023). Financial and non–financial factors in companies’ adaptation process towards sustainability and sustainable business models. Journal of Entrepreneurship, Management, and Innovation, 19(4), 49-83.

Yaşar, M., & Gerede, E. (2023). Results of competitive dynamics: Examination of the factors determining the operational and financial performance of airlines: The case of the Turkish international airline market. Journal of Entrepreneurship, Management, and Innovation, 19(4), 113-147.

Biographical note

Piotr Łasak (Ph.D., Hab.) is an Associate Professor at the Institute of Economics, Finance and Management, Jagiellonian University in Krakow, Poland. His research, publication and teaching activities focus on banking, corporate finance and international finance. Among the main research topics are financial market development, regulation and supervision, mechanisms of financial and currency crises, and shadow banking system development. Among his particular research interests is the development of the Chinese financial market. The current, main research area is concerned with financial technology (FinTech) and the banking sector transformation as the consequence of the processes of digitalization and the influence of financial technologies. He is author of several publications on this subject.

Citation (APA Style)

Łasak, P. (2023). Contemporary determinants of business performance: From the Editor. Journal of Entrepreneurship, Management, and Innovation, 19(4), 6-11.