New financing alternatives, notably crowdfunding, microfinance and peer-to-peer lending, are becoming increasingly influential funding mechanisms for start-ups. Despite the importance of these sources in funding ventures with growth potential, only a small number of studies have examined these phenomena.

We know little about how and why firms access these funding sources and their resultant growth.
This project will examine the following questions:

  • What determines a firm’s ability to access and use alternative sources of finance?
  • How aware are entrepreneurs of alternative sources of finance?
  • What is the role and nature of social networks in a successful alternative finance campaign?
  • What is the impact of alternative funding sources on ventures receiving this funding?

For firms to grow, there also needs to be a bridge between alternative finance and later stage investments. Accordingly, we will also examine the role of linkages with business angel funders. We will use publicly available data from various funding platforms to look at these questions. The study has significant implications for policy makers who need to understand and promote these new financial alternatives in seeding entrepreneurship with growth potential.

Research Showcase. June 2017

The ERC held a Research Showcase on June 20th 2017 at RSA House in London.
The agenda of the day reflected the range of research we are currently undertaking at the Centre. The aim was to share our research insights and ideas with our key stakeholders, and to engage in dialogue with them about these.

During the afternoon session we launched four new projects, with stakeholders feeding their ideas to help us shape future research questions and approaches.The showcase generated lively discussion and we are very grateful for the excellent engagement from our stakeholders, whose insights will shape and strengthen the final project outputs.

CompletionNovember 2016
KeywordsSME, Alternative Finance, Crowd-funding
ThemeFinance and Governance