The Determinants of Bootstrap Financing in Crises: Evidence from Entrepreneurial Ventures in the COVID-19 Pandemic
Small Business Economics, in press, SBEJ-D-20-00758R1
34 Pages Posted: 19 May 2020 Last revised: 10 Dec 2020
Date Written: May 12, 2020
Bootstrap financing refers to measures that entrepreneurial ventures undertake to preserve li-quidity (e.g., reducing expenses, collecting receivables, delaying payments, preselling). Prior research shows that bootstrap financing is an important enabler for the growth of resource-constrained early-stage ventures. However, little is known about the use of bootstrap financing in crises, during which the preservation of liquidity is particularly salient. We investigate the determinants of bootstrap financing in the 2020 COVID-19 crisis using a sample of 17,046 German entrepreneurial ventures. We formulate hypotheses about the determinants of bootstrap financing from a necessity, human capital, and opportunity cost perspective. Amongst others, our results show that the severity of the crisis for the venture, the level of private consumption, and self-employment experience are positively associated with an increased use of bootstrap financing measures. Our study contributes to the literature on bootstrap financing and illuminates how entrepreneurial ventures maintain liquidity in crises.
Keywords: Entrepreneurship, bootstrap finance, COVID-19, crises, coronavirus
JEL Classification: G30, L26, M13
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation