Handbook of Research on Business Angels
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Handbook of Research on Business Angels

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.
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Chapter 4: Categorisations of business angels: an overview

Roger Sørheim and Tiago Botelho


Previous studies of business angels have shown that the population is very heterogeneous, with various studies developing typologies to describe different categories of investor. This chapter provides a critical review of previous research on business angel categorisations to highlight the key contributions. The authors note that previous studies have categorised business angels using a wide range of variables, mostly grouping investors according to investors’ characteristics and often derived from data rather than theory. The main contribution of these studies has been to develop a more sophisticated and nuanced view of the definition and behaviour of business angels – which breaks free from an oversimplified stereotypical view of business angels. However, in many cases the categorisations are fragmented, lacking a theoretical anchor, supply-side driven and rather static. The authors conclude that these studies have not significantly influenced policymakers and policies to target different categories of business angel.

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