This paper illustrates how chronic uncertainty caused by crisis events affects the availability of entrepreneurial sources of finance for start-ups and small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). To explore this line of argument, this paper examines Crunchbase real-time data examining entrepreneurial finance investments in China during unfolding Covid-19 crisis. The paper shows that these equity investments slumped dramatically in the immediate aftermath of the Covid-19 virus, resulting in a year on year decrease of 60% in the total volume of investment raised between quarter 1 in 2019 and quarter 1 in 2020. Importantly, the paper found early-stage seed investments falling the steepest, suggesting nascent start-ups are those most heavily affected by the crisis. While the global financial crisis heavily hit debt markets, the relational nature of equity investments may mean entrepreneurial finance is even more susceptible to major upheaval caused by the Covid-19 crisis. Overall, enterprise policy makers need to become better attuned at monitoring real-time data sources to mitigate chronic entrepreneurial uncertainty via strategic policy responses.


This work has been made available online in the St Andrews University Repository in accordance with publisher policies or with permission. Permission for further reuse of this content should be sought from the publisher or the rights holder. This is the author created accepted manuscript following peer review and may differ slightly from the final published version.

Cite as

Brown, R. & Rocha, A. 2020, 'Entrepreneurial uncertainty during the Covid-19 crisis: mapping the temporal dynamics of entrepreneurial finance', Journal of Business Venturing Insights, 14, article no: e00174. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jbvi.2020.e00174

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Last updated: 17 June 2022
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