Working the crowd: improvisational entrepreneurship and equity crowdfunding in nascent entrepreneurial ventures

Ross Brown, Suzanne Mawson, Alexander Rowe, Colin Mason

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Citations (Scopus)
3 Downloads (Pure)


Equity crowdfunding has rapidly established itself as an important part of the funding landscape for nascent entrepreneurial ventures. To date, however, little is known about the nature of the demand for equity crowdfunding or its impact on recipient firms. This paper draws on an interview-based study of entrepreneurs in 42 equity crowdfunded start-ups in the UK. The study found strong demand for this funding from these experimental and improvisational entrepreneurs within innovative, consumer-focused, early stage firms. Many entrepreneurs were classic “discouraged borrowers” attracted by the ability to obtain finance quickly with relatively little diminution of their equity or autonomy. In terms of impact, equity crowdfunding seems to confer important intangible benefits to investee companies which amount to more than money. Given their strongly improvisational nature, the concept of entrepreneurial bricolage seems a suitable theoretical lens explicating the behavioural aspects of the entrepreneurs examined.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)169-193
Number of pages25
JournalInternational Small Business Journal
Issue number2
Early online date15 Sep 2017
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2018


  • entrepreneurship
  • start-ups
  • crowdfunding
  • discouraged borrowers
  • bricolage
  • UK

Cite this