Informal Venture Capital
Small businesses in virtually all industrialized countries find it increasingly difficult to obtain finance from institutional sources. Banks have become more risk-averse; venture capital funds, previously of only marginal significance, are now often concentrating their investments on established companies; and management buyouts and buyins and pressures to reduce government spending have resulted in a reduction in public policy initiatives. In this context there is a growing interest in the role of the informal venture capital market as an alternative source of risk finance for small business.
Informal Venture Capital: Investors, Investments and Policy Issues in Finland investigates the phenomenon of `business angels' - wealthy private individuals who invest in small businesses - who are increasingly recognized throughout the developed world as representing the most important source of venture capital for entrepreneurial businesses in their start-up and early growth stages. This volume answers key questions about these investors, and contributes significant new evidence on aspects of the informal venture capital market which have not been examined in previous studies. It further provides an authoritative assessment of the effectiveness of policy initiatives to stimulate the supply of informal venture capital, based on the experiences in Finland.