This commentary explores the manner in which the current COVID-19 crisis is affecting key sources of entrepreneurial finance in the United Kingdom. We posit that the unique relational nature of entrepreneurial finance may make it highly susceptible to such a shock owing to the need for face-to-face interaction between investors and entrepreneurs. The article explores this conjecture by scrutinising a real-time data source of equity investments. Our findings suggest that the volume of new equity transactions in the United Kingdom has declined markedly since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic. It appears that seed finance is the main type of entrepreneurial finance most acutely affected by the crisis, which typically goes to the most nascent entrepreneurial start-ups facing the greatest obstacles obtaining finance. Policy makers can utilise these real-time data sources to help inform their strategic policy interventions to assist the firms most affected by crisis events.


Copyright © 2020 the Author(s). This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/) which permits any use, reproduction and distribution of the work without further permission provided the original work is attributed as specified on the SAGE and Open Access page (https://us.sagepub.com/en-us/nam/open-access-at-sage).

Cite as

Brown, R., Rocha, A. & Cowling, M. 2020, 'Financing entrepreneurship in times of crisis: exploring the impact of Covid-19 on the market for entrepreneurial finance in the UK', International Small Business Journal, 38(5), pp. 380-390. https://doi.org/10.1177/0266242620937464

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Last updated: 16 June 2022
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