Financing Sustainable Entrepreneurship: ESG Measurement, Valuation, and Performance
23 Pages Posted: 1 Jan 2022 Last revised: 23 Sep 2022
Date Written: December 31, 2021
Sustainability orientation has a positive effect on startups’ initial valuation and a negative effect on their post-funding financial performance. All else equal, improving sustainability orientation by one standard deviation increases startups’ funding amount by 28% and decreases investors’ abnormal returns per post-funding year by 16%. The results hold in a large sample of blockchain-based crowdfunding campaigns, also known as Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs) or token offerings. A key contribution is a machine-learning approach to assess startups’ Environment, Society and Governance (ESG) properties from textual data, which we make readily available at www.SustainableEntrepreneurship.org.
Keywords: Sustainable Entrepreneurship, Sustainability, ESG, Token Offering, Initial Coin Offering (ICO), Crowdfunding, Entrepreneurial Finance, Machine Learning
JEL Classification: L26, M13, Q01, Q56
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation