Dynamics of Business Failure and Sustainability of selected Small to Medium Enterprises (SMEs) in Zimbabwe

The main objective of the study was to analyse the impact of business failure and sustainability of Small to Medium Enterprises in Zimbabwe. The study was guided by Positivism research Philosophy. Probability random sampling was  used to select 132 SMEs from a population of 200 and this was chosen basing on Raosoft sample size calculator. Questionnaires were used to collect data which was analysed using descriptive statistics. The study found that human resource capabilities have an effect on the success or failure of a business among SMEs in Zimbabwe. Furthermore, the study’s results suggest that insufficient resources and financial incapability results in the failure of a firm. The study’s findings also found that economic variables and markets are key determinants to the success or failure of the business. Business failure largely impacts on various stakeholders of the firm namely suppliers, directors of companies lose their investments, employees who would have lost their jobs due to the insolvency of the firm, the standard of lives diminishes. The study concluded that most of the causes of business failure are internal which implies that SMEs must be very careful in managing well such internal aspects of the business that results in failure. It is recommended that SMEs in Zimbabwe continually upgrade themselves in terms of their operations, capacity, human resources and capital base since this has a bearing on their success or failure.As such SMEs are commended to have sufficient resources required to educate and train its workforce, a vibrant internal research and development, and a vibrant human capital. The role of the government through the Ministry of SMECD should come up with initiative to increase awareness of how SMEs can be assisted through training and also be assisted financially without huge collateral requirements. The study focused on SMEs in Chitungwiza only. This poses challenges when it comes to generalizability of the findings.  As such, it is recommended that future research be done in other cities and provinces in Zimbabwe in order to make meaningful generalizations

Key Words: Small to Medium Size Enterprises, Business Failure, Sustainability, Zimbabwe.