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How to secure an innovation grant for firms in new industries? Gender and resource perspectives

Audretsch, D. ORCID:, Belitski, M. ORCID: and Brush, C. (2023) How to secure an innovation grant for firms in new industries? Gender and resource perspectives. International Journal of Entrepreneurial Behavior & Research. ISSN 1355-2554

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1108/IJEBR-02-2022-0183


Purpose Research on financing for entrepreneurship has consolidated over the last decade. However, one question remains unanswered: how does the combination of external finance, such as equity and debt capital, and internal finance, such as working capital, affect the likelihood of grant funding over time? The purpose of this study is to analyse the relationship between different sources of financing and firms' ability to fundraise via innovation grants and to examine the role of female chief executive officer (CEO) in this relationship. Unlike equity and debt funding, innovation grants manifest a form of innovation acknowledgement and visibility, recognition of potential commercialization of inovation. Design/methodology/approach The authors use firm-level financial data for 3,034 high-growth firms observed in 2015, 2017 and 2019 across 35 emerging sectors in the United Kingdom (UK) to test the factors affecting the propensity of high-growth firms to secure an innovation grant as a main source of fundraising for innovation during the early stages of product commercialization. Findings The results do not confirm gender bias for innovation fundraising in new industries. This contrasts with prior research in the field which has demonstrated that access to finance is gender-biased. However, the role of CEO gender is important as it moderates the relationship between the sources of funding and the likelihood of accessing the grant funding. Research limitations/implications This study does not analyse psychological or neurological factors that could determine the intrinsic qualities of male and female CEOs when making high-risk decisions under conditions of uncertainty related to innovation. Direct gender bias with regards to access to innovation grants could not be assumed. This study offers important policy implications and explains how firms in new industries can increase their likelihood of accessing a grant and how CEO gender can moderate the relationship between availability of internal and external funding and securing a new grant. Social implications This study implicates and empirically demonstrates that gender bias does not apply in fundraising for innovation in new industries. As female CEOs represent various firms in different sectors, this may be an important signal for investors in new product development and innovation policies targeting gender bias and inclusion. Originality/value The authors draw on female entrepreneurship and feminist literature to demonstrate how various sources of financing and gender change the likelihood of grant funding in both the short and long run. This is the first empirical study which aims to explain how various internal and external sources of finance change the propensity of securing an innovation grant in new industries.

Item Type:Article
Divisions:Henley Business School > Leadership, Organisations and Behaviour
ID Code:112182


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