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Digitization in the market for entrepreneurial finance: Innovative business models and new financing channelsDigitization creates new financial channels that complement traditional intermediaries, but may raise concerns over fraud, cybersecurity, or bubbles. Artificial intelligence and machine learning change the way in which traditional investors work. This special issue focuses on economic, cultural, and regulatory determinants of fintech development, and on the new forms of information production and processing engendered by digital entrepreneurial finance. We provide a general overview of digitization in the market for entrepreneurial finance, illustrate how the different articles in the special issue contribute to advance our knowledge, and identify promising avenues for research.
Does the sector matter? An analysis of high-growth firms and industry growth ratesPurpose This paper aims to analyze the effect of industry growth rates on the characteristics of high-growth firms (HGFs) that are active in a particular industry. By making a distinction between HGFs active in stable and declining industries and HGFs active in growing and high-growing industries, it is analyzed if the main dimensions of firm performance are significantly different for HGFs active in one of these different industry types. Gaining more insight into this industry aspect of high firm growth is important as governmental measures towards HGFs may be more effective if they have a specific sectoral focus. Design/methodology/approach A subset of 740 Belgian HGFs was analyzed. Data were gathered from the Belfirst database. HGFs were classified within their corresponding industry type: a declining industry (negative growth), a stable industry (0 −5% growth), a growing industry (5 −10% growth) and a high-growth industry (>10% growth). Four dimensions of structural firm performance that are expected to correlate with high growth were taken into consideration: productivity (value added per FTE), profitability (ROA), innovativeness (intangible assets) and financial health (solvency and liquidity).Tukey's range tests in conjunction with post-hoc analysis of variance (ANOVA) tests were carried out to test for significant differences in all the mentioned variables for the HGFs in the four different industry types. Findings Results show that HGFs active in a stable industry are not significantly more profitable or innovative than HGFs active in a growth industry. However, significant differences could be encountered when it comes to the other two dimensions of structural firm performance: productivity and financial health. It is shown that HGFs active in declining and stable industries are significantly more productive than HGFs active in growth industries and high-growth industries. Also, HGFs active in declining and stable industries have significantly higher liquidity ratios than firms active in growth industries, pointing towards a better financial health for HGFs in nongrowing industries. Research limitations/implications The results confirm the conceptual logic that the differences between resource-based view (RBV) and industrial organization (IO) propositions will have an impact on the drivers of firm performance and high business growth. Every future study that focuses on the growth determinants of HGFs should be aware that considering the subset of HGFs as one homogenous group may be suboptimal. It is likely that the growth determinants of both HGF types will indeed be fundamentally different. Originality/value Until now, all studies on HGFs have considered the subset of HGFs as a whole. This paper tried to disentangle the subset based on the growth rate of the industry in which HGFs are mainly active. In this proposition, a reason for the lack of knowledge about characteristics of HGFs may – at least partially – be found in the fact that industry membership plays an important role in determining the characteristics of a high-growth firm. Future studies focusing on high-growth determinants may benefit from systematically taking the industry growth rates into account, with the knowledge that the propositions of two different theories – IO and RBV – may be the fundamental drivers of a firm's high-growth rates.
Welcoming new entrants into European electricity marketsIn this review paper, we select four important waves of new entrants that knocked on the door of European electricity markets to illustrate how market rules need to be continuously adapted to allow new entrants to come in and push innovation forward. The new entrants that we selected are utilities venturing into neighbouring markets after establishing a strong position in their home market, utility-scale renewables project developers, asset-light software companies aggregating smaller consumers and producers, and different types of communities. We show that well-intentioned rules designed for certain types of market participants can (unintentionally) become obstacles for new entrants. We conclude that the evolution of market rules illustrates the importance of dynamic regulation. At the start of the liberalisation process the view was that we would deregulate or re-regulate the sector after which the role of regulators could be reduced. However, their role has only increased. New players tend to improve the sustainability of the electricity sector in environmental, social, or economic terms but might also present new risks that require intervention by regulators.
The regulatory framework for independent aggregatorsThe importance of independent aggregators has been acknowledged in the recently adopted EU Clean Energy Package (CEP). The CEP obliges all Member States to develop a regulatory framework to allow these players to enter the market, but it leaves many of the details of implementation to the national level. In this paper, we take stock of current practices in regulating the contractual relationship between the supplier and the independent aggregator. The actions of an independent aggregator can cause an imbalance in a supplier’s portfolio, and suppliers have also asked for a compensation payment for forgone revenues. We find that the first issue has been handled with a perimeter correction in most countries, while the second issue is more controversial. The need for a compensation payment has been challenged and many different compensation models are being tested. We distinguish between the regulated, the corrected, and the contracted model. We conclude that more guidance is needed at EU-level for convergence on a more harmonized approach.
Individual differences in the susceptibility to forecasting biasesWe set out to investigate whether interindividual differences in cognition affect the susceptibility to four forecasting biases: (a) optimism bias, (b) adding noise to forecasts, (c) presuming positive autocorrelation when series are independent, and (d) trend damping. All four biases were prevalent in the results, but we found no consistent relationships with cognition (cognitive style, cognitive reflection). Our sample included both novice and expert forecasters. They did not differ significantly in their susceptibility to biases. The lack of individual differences in bias susceptibility suggests that universal approaches to debiasing are possible.