New Technology Based Firms (NTBF) are considered to be important for the economic development of a country in regards to both employment growth and innovative activity. The latter is believed to contribute significantly to the increase in productivity and therefore the competitiveness of UK’s economy. This study contributes to the above literature by investigating two of the factors believed to limit the growth of such firms in the UK. The first concerns the existence of a ‘knowledge gap’ while the second the existence of a ‘financial gap’. These themes are developed along three main research lines. Firstly, based upon the human capital theory initially proposed by Backer (1964) new evidence is provided on the human capital characteristics (experience and education) of the current UK NTBF entrepreneurs. Secondly, the causal relationship between general and specific human capital (as well as their interactions) upon the company performance and growth is investigated via its traditional direct effect as well as via its indirect effect upon the access to external finance. Finally, more light is shed on the financial structure and the type of financial constraints that high-tech firms face at start-up. In particular, whether a financial gap exists is explored by distinguishing between the demand and the supply of external finance as well as by type of external source of financing. The empirical testing of the various research hypotheses has been obtained by carrying out an original survey of new technology based firms defined as independent companies, established in the past 25 years in R&D intensive sectors. The resulting dataset contains information for 412 companies on a number of general company characteristics and the characteristics of their entrepreneurs in 2004. Policy and practical implications for future and current entrepreneurs and also providers of external finance are provided.
|Date of Award||Aug 2007|
|Supervisor||Giuliana Battisti (Supervisor)|
- human capital
- new technology based firms in the UK
- external finance