Abstract

Despite the attention paid to venture capital, informal investors are the more important source of private equity for startups. Largely because of insufficient data, we know less about these informal investors, so-called angels, and their role in influencing the entrepreneurial landscape of a country or region. Consensus indicates that women rely on informal capital sources and debt more so than men. However, we still need to develop a systematic understanding of their experiences with equity financing in general and informal private equity in particular.

Consider nascent entrepreneurs with identical socioeconomic characteristics. Are differences in financing outcomes caused by the entrepreneurs themselves (demand side) or by the financing agents (supply side), who may be fellow entrepreneurs? Does any gender variation arise from the entrepreneur’s different perceptions or roles or from the informal investor’s valuation methods or financing discrimination, as found somewhat with debt financing?

Using individual level GEM data, we investigate whether women’s behavior as angel investors is consistent across countries and to what extent they fund other entrepreneurs. Overall, our study contributes to a richer understanding of entrepreneurial financing and differences across gender.

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