Entrepreneurship is the basis of economic development but is somehow limited by the lack of access to financing sources, especially in the crucial moments of start-up early-stage development. For crossing the so-called “valley of death,” start-ups need to access informal finance sources, such as business angels. This study aims at defining the profile of business angels and comparing it with the existing literature.
A novel methodology for sampling the business angles population has been used, which extracts data from online social media networks. This allows taking a closer look at informal sources of entrepreneurial finance. A total of 500 real business angels, acting worldwide, from the LinkedIn and Crunchbase databases has been retrieved for this study.
Results point out that younger investors seem to be entering the entrepreneurial informal finance market. They are mainly males between 40 and 50 years of age, with a previous entrepreneurial record, and more highly educated than previously stated. They tend to have studies from Business Administration and Economics, although they prefer to invest in the ICT sector.
Besides the novel data retrieval technique for analyzing the informal sources of finance, the originality of the work lies in updating the archetype for business angels.
Morales-Alonso, G., Vila, G.A., Lemus-Aguilar, I. and Hidalgo, A. (2020), "Data retrieval from online social media networks for defining business angels’ profile", Journal of Enterprising Communities: People and Places in the Global Economy, Vol. 14 No. 1, pp. 57-75. https://doi.org/10.1108/JEC-10-2019-0095
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