Authors: Ingrid le Roux & Kenneth M K Bengesi

Keyword: entrepreneurship, micro, small and medium-sized enterprises, small and medium-sized enterprises, SMEs

SDG: SDG4, SDG8

Agenda 2063: A1

The removal of trade barriers has encouraged the entry of new competitors into formerly protected markets. This situation creates pressure on many small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in emerging economies such as Tanzania. Using a survey method and cross-sectional research design, the research examines three dimensions of entrepreneurial orientation (EO), namely: pro-activeness, risk-taking and competitive aggressiveness. Understanding their relationships and variance may help to improve our ability to explain SME performance. The findings contribute to how SME performance in emerging economies can be enhanced to enable SMEs to face challenges posed by competitor influx in the context of an open market economy. The findings indicate a strong relationship between EO dimensions and performance, with risktaking and competitive aggressiveness moderating the effect of pro-activeness. The proposed model could predict 72% of the variance explained in SME performance.