While the importance of venture capital to the growth of small firms has been widely discussed during the past decade, little is known about the acquisition of additional equity capital, especially internal equity capital, by the majority of small firms in the U.S. This paper utilizes the information collected in the Federal Reserve Board’s 1993 and 1998 Small Business Finance Surveys to investigate the acquisition of additional equity capital by small firms. While the importance of public issue markets and venture capital investment in promoting the growth of small dynamic firms cannot be denied, the importance of external equity capital seems to be overstated. Only a very small number of small firms acquired additional external equity capital. It is the internal equity capital, not external, equity, that is one of the major financing sources for most small firms. We found that younger, lower quality firms were more likely to acquire additional internal equity capital than other firms. There appeared to be a “pecking order” of borrowing from internal sources to traditional lenders to non-traditional lenders. In addition, internal equity capital and debt acquired from traditional and non-traditional lenders appeared to be complementary financial resources.
Small Business Economics – Springer Journals
Published: Feb 22, 2006
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