Angel networks as a business start-up financing option in South Africa.

Sibanda, Zenzo (2011) Angel networks as a business start-up financing option in South Africa. Masters thesis, Rhodes University.




The following study is about business angels financing small business start-ups. It explores the aspect of starting up an entrepreneurial venture in which the entrepreneur seeks to secure start-up finance from lenders, raising the various issues that are known to characterise this engagement between the entrepreneur and the lender. Using the phenomenological paradigm, the study seeks to determine the awareness of small scale financing by entrepreneurs in South Africa, to determine the most commonly used source of start-up business funding in South Africa, to assess the extent to which business angel financing could be used to finance businesses in South Africa and to determine the factors impacting the use of business angel financing in South Africa. From these objectives, the study will also seek to determine the extent to which business angel networks could facilitate the financing of business start-ups. Small businesses invariably come up in different policy spheres as the main avenues to social and economic construction across national and regional lines. The importance of a successful business start up to a growing economy should not be underestimated. In line with this is the particular factor of gaining access to start up capital, which continues to emerge as a leading contributor to the success or failure of business start ups. Studies continue to verify that the most common challenge faced by most emerging entrepreneurs is start-up capital, either in the lack of this capital, the unfavourable conditions surrounding its availability, the lack of assets to serve as collateral for its use or the ambiguous flow of crucial information between lenders and providers of finance in the funding relationship (Abor and Biekpe, 2006: 69;Hernandez-Trillo, Pagan and Paxton, 2005: 435, ISPESE, 2005: 7, CDE, 2004: 5; Musengi 2003: 11). Roger Sorheim (2005: 179) refers to business angels as private individuals who offer risk capital to unlisted companies that are struggling to obtain start up capital to finance their business ideas. Business angels are further defined as high net-worth bearers of substantial private capital who predominantly invest in the early stage of high risk high potential return business ventures with a positive further growth potential. Business angel finance is typically a ‘once-off’ early stage form of small firm financing compared to the more frequent later stage venture capitalist funding. Studies show that business angels represent an underutilised wealth creation mechanism when it comes to small firm start-ups as most business angels contribute expertise in addition to finance to the start-ups they get involved in. This brings valuable business insight to the commercialisation of a good business idea. The business angel network exposes a range of potentially viable business prospects to willing investors by facilitating the flow of information about entrepreneurs and their businesses, thereby eliminating ambiguity, information asymmetry and transaction costs (Aernoudt and Erikson, 2002: 178; Van Osnabrugge and Robinson, 2000:374; Macht, 2006:1; Ehlrich, De Noble, Moore and Weaver, 1994:70; Sorheim, 2005:179). To achieve a holistic approach to a phenomenon which appears to be relatively new in South African business circles, the study will follow a qualitative approach in which two categories of populations will be used, one of small business operators and the other of business angels in South Africa. In the study, 20 small business operators and five business angels in Grahamstown will be approached using the convenience and snowballing sampling methods respectively. Face-to-face semi-structured interviews will be used as a data collection method and content analysis will be used as a data analysis tool (Collis and Hussey, 2003:156, Driver, Wood, Segal and Herrington, 2001:32, National Small Business Act ). There has been very limited research on business angels in the South African context, therefore the study would significantly contribute in entrepreneurship, government and small business development circles as it brings about attention to what the researcher predicts is an underutilised business start-up financing option.

Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Uncontrolled Keywords:Angels Investors, Small business, Finance, South Africa, New business enterprises, Venture capital, Microfinance
Subjects:H Social Sciences > HG Finance
Divisions:Faculty > Faculty of Commerce > Management
ID Code:2078
Deposited By: Madireng Monyela
Deposited On:10 Oct 2011 07:41
Last Modified:06 Jan 2012 16:22
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