The chapter reviews the definition of business angels, stressing that love money and angel investing are conceptually different. It emphasises the key features of business angels: they are investing their own money, investing in private unquoted companies, investing directly and are motivated by commercial returns. However, the emergence of managed angel groups has challenged the continued validity of some aspects of this definition. The author then reviews the various ways in which researchers have sought to identify business angels, either for sampling purposes or to estimate the size of the market. Each of the sources reviewed has significant deficiencies. The author is therefore of the same view as Wetzel that the population of business angels ‘is unknown and probably unknowable’. However, he does see the emergence of angel groups as an important development, comprising a significant investment category in their own right and which is visible, in contrast to solo angels who operate informally and so remain largely invisible. He therefore advocates that efforts should be made to collect investment information from such groups on a regular basis.
Darja Reuschke and Colin Mason
Little attention has been paid to the geography of home-based businesses and how potential differences in characteristics and business operations are manifested across space. This chapter seeks to shed light on the characteristics of urban home-based businesses (HBBs) and their owners. It has three aims: first, to identify peculiarities of HBBs in urban areas; second, to test whether there exist ‘typical’ urban HBB entrepreneurs; and, third, to make recommendations as to how cities and national government can support home-based businesses. The empirical findings drawn from a survey of the members of the Federation of Small Businesses in Scotland clearly show that urban HBBs possess distinct characteristics and motivations. Key findings are: urban HBBs are concentrated in business services and creative services; urban economies benefit from the local supplier network of HBBs; and HBBs that are operated around disability or care are more likely to be found in urban areas. It concludes that HBBs are diverse, with distinct sub-groups having distinct needs. For cities and local governments it is therefore important not to adopt a ‘one size fits all’ approach. Different business needs should be identified on the basis not only of the characteristics of the business (industry, number of employees) but also of the characteristics of the owner (gender, disability or health).
Edited by Hans Landström and Colin Mason
This book synthesizes 30 years of research on business angels by charting the significant role they play in the financing of entrepreneurial businesses in both developed and emerging economies. The expert group of contributors examine business angels themselves, the evolution of the market and the role of public policy in influencing angel investment. Finally, the editors provide an agenda for future research on business angels.