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Factors Affecting New Firm Success and Their Use in Venture Capital Financing

  • Timothy Bates

    (New School for Social Research, New York)

  • William D. Bradford

    (University of Maryland)

Using a nationwide sample of 14,424 new firms, we find that attractive human capital traits at business entry for entrepreneurs include high educational attainment, owners who lie in the middle of—as opposed to the tails of—the age distribution, and family business background. Attractive firm traits are purchase of an existing firm rather than starting a firm de novo, and larger amounts of starting capital. Recent research has found that certain ethnic minorities are differentially restricted from obtaining commercial bank financing. Our statistical tests indicate that when we control for differences in human capital and firm traits, the venture capital market also differentially restricts minority entrepreneurs from obtaining venture capital. Thus public policy seeking to reduce the resulting financing gap for minority entrepreneurs may have economic justification. Except for the ethnic trait, the venture capital market’s use of owner and firm information is consistent with selecting those firms which have more survival potential.

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Article provided by Pepperdine University, Graziadio School of Business and Management in its journal Journal of Small Business Finance.

Volume (Year): 2 (1992)
Issue (Month): 1 (Fall)
Pages: 23-38

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Handle: RePEc:pep:journl:v:2:y:1992:i:1:p:23-38
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Web page: http://bschool.pepperdine.edu/jef
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  1. Reynolds, Paul D., 1987. "New firms: Societal contribution versus survival potential," Journal of Business Venturing, Elsevier, vol. 2(3), pages 231-246.
  2. Bates, Timothy, 1990. "Entrepreneur Human Capital Inputs and Small Business Longevity," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 72(4), pages 551-59, November.
  3. Bruno, Albert V. & Tyebjee, Tyzoon T., 1985. "The entrepreneur's search for capital," Journal of Business Venturing, Elsevier, vol. 1(1), pages 61-74.
  4. Robert E. Lucas Jr., 1978. "On the Size Distribution of Business Firms," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 9(2), pages 508-523, Autumn.
  5. Stuart, Robert & Abetti, Pier A., 1987. "Start-up ventures: Towards the prediction of initial success," Journal of Business Venturing, Elsevier, vol. 2(3), pages 215-230.
  6. Macmillan, Ian C. & Zemann, Lauriann & Subbanarasimha, P. N., 1987. "Criteria distinguishing successful from unsuccessful ventures in the venture screening process," Journal of Business Venturing, Elsevier, vol. 2(2), pages 123-137.
  7. Maier, John II & Walker, David A., 1987. "The role of venture capital in financing small business," Journal of Business Venturing, Elsevier, vol. 2(3), pages 207-214.
  8. Steigum, Erling, Jr, 1983. "A Financial Theory of Investment Behavior," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 51(3), pages 637-45, May.
  9. Altman, Edward I. & Haldeman, Robert G. & Narayanan, P., 1977. "ZETATM analysis A new model to identify bankruptcy risk of corporations," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 1(1), pages 29-54, June.
  10. Schultz, Theodore W, 1980. " Investment in Entrepreneurial Ability," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 82(4), pages 437-48.
  11. Stiglitz, Joseph E, 1987. "The Causes and Consequences of the Dependence of Quality on Price," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 25(1), pages 1-48, March.
  12. Holmes, Thomas J & Schmitz, James A, Jr, 1990. "A Theory of Entrepreneurship and Its Application to the Study of Business Transfers," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 98(2), pages 265-94, April.
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