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Funding Gaps? Access To Bank Loans By High-Tech Start-Ups

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  • Massimo Colombo

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  • Luca Grilli
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    Abstract

    This paper aims to shed new light on start-up financing of new technology-based firms (NTBFs) and the existence of credit constraints that may negatively affect their activity. For this purpose, we analyze the different sources of start-up financing used by NTBFs and investigate several characteristics that may influence the extent of recourse to bank loans. In the empirical section, we consider a sample composed of 386 Italian NTBFs that operate both in manufacturing and services. We estimate double-censored tobit and bivariate tobit models so as to highlight the determinants of (i) the financial leverage, measured by the ratio of bank debt to total capital, and (ii) the amounts of personal capital and bank loans of firms at start-up, respectively. Our findings support the view that the credit market is imperfect and there exists a financing hierarchy. In fact, only a minority of firms resorts to outside financing, and especially to bank debt. In addition, the level of financial leverage is not random; it increases with an increase of the predicted amount of firms’ total initial capital, while it decreases with variables such as the number of owners and the work experience of founders that are indicative of greater personal wealth available to finance firms’ start-up. Lastly, the size of the bank loans obtained by firms generally is small and it is quite insensitive to demand-side factors that instead determine the amount of personal and total capital, with the notable exception of scale economies in the industry of the start-up. In other words, in accordance with the argument that credit to NTBFs is rationed, the loan supply curve is highly inelastic, even though not perfectly so. Copyright Springer 2007

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Springer in its journal Small Business Economics.

    Volume (Year): 29 (2007)
    Issue (Month): 1 (June)
    Pages: 25-46

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    Handle: RePEc:kap:sbusec:v:29:y:2007:i:1:p:25-46

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    Web page: http://www.springerlink.com/link.asp?id=100338

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    Keywords: new technology-based firms; start-up financing; bank loans; credit rationing; G32; M13; O30;

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    Cited by:
    1. Massimo Colombo & Annalisa Croce & Samuele Murtinu, 2014. "Ownership structure, horizontal agency costs and the performance of high-tech entrepreneurial firms," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 42(2), pages 265-282, February.
    2. Nunes, Paulo Maçãs & Serrasqueiro, Zélia & Leitão, João, 2012. "Is there a linear relationship between R&D intensity and growth? Empirical evidence of non-high-tech vs. high-tech SMEs," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 41(1), pages 36-53.
    3. James B. Ang & Jakob B. Madsen, 2012. "Risk capital, private credit, and innovative production," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 45(4), pages 1608-1639, November.
    4. Bertoni, Fabio & Colombo, Massimo G. & Grilli, Luca, 2011. "Venture capital financing and the growth of high-tech start-ups: Disentangling treatment from selection effects," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 40(7), pages 1028-1043, September.
    5. Höwer, Daniel, 2013. "Corporate main bank decision," ZEW Discussion Papers 13-018, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
    6. Yuji Honjo & Masatoshi Kato & Hiroyuki Okamuro, 2014. "R&D investment of start-up firms: does founders’ human capital matter?," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 42(2), pages 207-220, February.
    7. Eleonora Bartoloni, 2013. "Capital structure and innovation: causality and determinants," Empirica, Springer, vol. 40(1), pages 111-151, February.
    8. Colombo, Massimo G. & Croce, Annalisa & Guerini, Massimiliano, 2013. "The effect of public subsidies on firms’ investment–cash flow sensitivity: Transient or persistent?," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 42(9), pages 1605-1623.
    9. Dina Cunha & Sandra T. Silva & Aurora A.C. Teixeira, 2013. "Are Academic Spin-Offs necessarily New Technology-Based firms?," FEP Working Papers 482, Universidade do Porto, Faculdade de Economia do Porto.
    10. Valérie Revest & Sandro Sapio, 2008. "Financing Technology-Based Small Firms in Europe: a review of the empirical evidence," LEM Papers Series 2008/23, Laboratory of Economics and Management (LEM), Sant'Anna School of Advanced Studies, Pisa, Italy.
    11. Fabio Bertoni & Annalisa Croce & Diego D'Adda, 2009. "Venture capital investments and patenting activity of high-tech start-ups: a micro-econometric firm-level analysis," Venture Capital, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 12(4), pages 307-326, November.
    12. Andrea Bellucci & Ilario Favaretto & Germana Giombini, 2014. "Does Innovation Affect Credit Access? New Empirical Evidence from Italian Small Business Lending," IAW Discussion Papers 104, Institut für Angewandte Wirtschaftsforschung (IAW).
    13. Valérie Revest & Alessandro Sapio, 2012. "Financing technology-based small firms in Europe: what do we know?," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 39(1), pages 179-205, July.
    14. Vittoria Cerasi & Alessandro Fedele & Raffaele Miniaci, 2013. "Product market competition and collateralized debt," Working Papers 238, University of Milano-Bicocca, Department of Economics, revised Mar 2013.
    15. Carole Howorth & Andrea Moro, 2012. "Trustworthiness and interest rates: an empirical study of Italian SMEs," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 39(1), pages 161-177, July.

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