New firm growth and bank financing

This paper examines the extent to which Lucas’ ideas on human capital and Jovanovic’ theorising on “learning” can provide further insights into the development of small firms. It focuses exclusively upon newly established independent firms. Our evidence from two surveys is that bank lending to new firms is unrelated to many of the personal characteristics of founders which have been argued by other researchers to relate to small firm performance. Instead lending appears to be more related to whether or not the founder can or chooses to use personal savings, and the legal status of the business.

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