Title: Understanding the aspirations of Finnish entrepreneurs and venture capitalists: their effects on international operations and growth

Authors: Diane A. Isabelle; Mika Westerlund; Risto Rajala; Seppo Leminen

Addresses: Sprott School of Business, Carleton University, 1708 Dunton Tower, 1125 Colonel By Drive, Ottawa, ON K1S 5B6, Canada ' Sprott School of Business, Carleton University, 305 Saint Patrick's Building, 1125 Colonel By Drive, Ottawa, ON K1S 5B6, Canada ' Department of Industrial Engineering and Management, School of Science, Aalto University, P.O. Box 15500, 00076 Aalto, Finland ' Laurea University of Applied Sciences, Vanha maantie 9, 02650 Espoo, Finland; School of Business, Aalto University, P.O. Box 21210, FI-00076 Aalto, Finland

Abstract: Small firms must increasingly seek external funding to fuel their growth ambitions domestically and internationally. However, external funding comes with conditions and ownership claims signifying changes to the entrepreneur's status quo. At the same time, the current climate for entrepreneurship and the availability of funding tend to fluctuate because potential funders contemplate the keenest investment strategy. In this study, we use a sample of 262 small internationally operating firms in Finland to investigate the impacts of entrepreneurs' acceptance of venture capitalists (VCs) as new stakeholders in their firms and the approaches VCs take to entrepreneurship. Moreover, we study the effect of external funding on international operations, growth and financial performance of the firm. We found that the aspirations of entrepreneurs and VCs affect the firms' use of external funding, and that this funding contributes to increased international operations, corporate growth and financial performance.

Keywords: entrepreneurship; funding; financial performance; growth; Finland; international; stakeholders; venture capital; SMEs; acceptance.

DOI: 10.1504/IJESB.2019.100106

International Journal of Entrepreneurship and Small Business, 2019 Vol.37 No.2, pp.190 - 213

Received: 14 Dec 2016
Accepted: 27 Jun 2017

Published online: 09 Jun 2019 *

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