chapter  7
27 Pages

Microfi nance and Innovation


Financing innovation has been a long-standing concern. It has been prominent in the EU, where there is a widespread view that raising such fi nance is more diffi cult than in the US. Lack of fi nance regularly appears as a major issue in media debates, and this is supported empirically. It is cited as a major obstacle to innovation by fi rms responding to the Community Innovation Survey (CIS) (Canepa and Stoneman, 2002; 2008; Hölzl and Janger, 2011). At the time of the ‘dot com bubble’, venture capital became a major source of R&D and other innovation funding. Many small fi rms raised funds from this source for pursuing their (sometimes) new ideas. The ‘dot com crash’ led to less emphasis on venture capital’s innovationsupporting role of venture capital. It may well return to prominence in the future, but the economic crisis from 2008 and beyond has posed questions about the future role of all types of fi nancing instruments, and many fi rms-even large and established ones-have been experiencing diffi culty in raising fi nance.