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Entrepreneurial finance journeys: embeddedness and the finance escalator

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This paper re-visits the traditional model of the finance escalator, which outlines alternative financial pathways for entrepreneurs depending on their aspirations and stage of development. Building on social, spatial and institutional embeddedness perspectives, the dynamic and interactional challenges of financial decisions are captured through an exploratory interpretivist approach. Ten early funding journeys of entrepreneurs in Scotland, all of whom sought external funding, were scrutinized with the objective of revealing motivations, reasoning, and patterns behind funding decisions. Surprisingly, these entrepreneurs all initially sought value-added financial capital, but issues including control (perceived as ownership), speed of access, and external environmental pressures caused them to accept offers (often unsolicited) from familiar sources. As a result, a revised finance escalator is proposed. The extent to which these findings are context specific is discussed.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)185-214
JournalVenture Capital
Issue number2
Early online date19 May 2020
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2020


  • MURZACHEVA_2020_cright_Entrepreneurial Finance Journeys. Embeddedness and the Finance Escalator

    Rights statement: This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published in by Taylor & Francis in Venture Capital on 19/05/2020, available online:

    Accepted author manuscript (Post-print), 1.65 MB, PDF document

    Due to publisher’s copyright restrictions, this document is not freely available to download from this website until: 19/11/21

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