Business angel investment as an informal learning process: Does experience matter?

Tiago Botelho, Richard Harrison, Colin Mason

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

This paper addresses the question of how the informal learning processes of angel investors shape the way in which they assess new investment opportunities. Previous research has suggested that angels learn from their previous investment activity. However, the measurement of investment experience as a function of years of investing and number of investments made does not take into account how, and to what extent, learning occurs and how it impacts investors’ decision-making. To address this deficiency, we suggest a dynamic model of informal learning which incorporates the informal learning typology developed by Schugurensky and extended by Bennett, as a conceptual framework to understand how learning experiences impact angel investment decisions. Based on interviews and verbal protocol analysis with 30 investors, we demonstrate how learning impacts learning processes and outcomes as angels assess an investment opportunity. The findings highlight the importance of supporting angel learning with support for angel groups and angel training programmes.

Original languageEnglish
JournalBritish Journal of Management
Early online date27 Dec 2021
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 27 Dec 2021

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