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Angel Investing: A Literature Review


  • Edelman, Linda F.
  • Manolova, Tatiana S.
  • Brush, Candida G.


Even though scholars have amassed a large body of research on angel investors, few systematic and comprehensive reviews are available. The purpose of this monograph is to review this literature and then to offer suggestions for future investigation. To that end, we compiled a set of journal articles on angel investing. We start with Wetzel’s (1983) seminal article describing the characteristics of angel investors and end with the work published more recently. In total, we have 152 articles that we review. For parsimony, we chose to focus our review only refereed journal articles, thereby excluding conference proceedings, books and book chapters, industry reports, and dissertations. This implies that there is additional work that has been done on the topic of angel investing that is not covered by our monograph. For this, we offer our apologies. However, we did include studies using data from the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM) because these capture early stage financing globally. GEM defines angel investment a little differently than we do in the monograph, in that in GEM they include early stage family and friends money as angel investment. This is likely due to the international nature of the GEM data collection and the lack of a robust angel investment community internationally. In the final chapter, we have included a table that breaks out the GEM studies, to better represent the data.

Suggested Citation

  • Edelman, Linda F. & Manolova, Tatiana S. & Brush, Candida G., 2017. "Angel Investing: A Literature Review," Foundations and Trends(R) in Entrepreneurship, now publishers, vol. 13(4-5), pages 265-439, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:now:fntent:0300000051

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Robert Wiltbank, 2005. "Investment practices and outcomesof informal venture investors," Venture Capital, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 7(4), pages 343-357, August.
    2. Mark Van Osnabrugge, 2000. "A comparison of business angel and venture capitalist investment procedures: An agency theory-based analysis," Venture Capital, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 2(2), pages 91-109, April.
    3. Rolf Visser & Roger Williams, 2001. "Prospecting for Gold: How Dutch informal investors appraise small businesses in trouble," Venture Capital, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 3(1), pages 1-24, January.
    4. László Szerb & Siri Terjesen & Gábor Rappai, 2007. "Seeding new ventures -- green thumbs and fertile fields: Individual and environmental drivers of informal investment," Venture Capital, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 9(4), pages 257-284, April.
    5. Charles W. Wessner, 2002. "Entrepreneurial finance and the New Economy," Venture Capital, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 4(4), pages 349-355, October.
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    1. repec:spr:scient:v:115:y:2018:i:2:d:10.1007_s11192-018-2705-y is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item


    Angel investment; Angel networks; Entrepreneurial firms; Micro-angels; Woman investors;

    JEL classification:

    • L26 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior - - - Entrepreneurship
    • G24 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Investment Banking; Venture Capital; Brokerage


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