Dipartimento di Ingegneria Gestionale

Policies for start-ups and SMEs

About the project

The objective of this research is to evaluate the implementation of policies aimed at addressing the financial needs of start-ups and SMEs and sustaining growth through the development of entrepreneurial activity. The research uses state-of-the-art econometric techniques for panel data and apply them to large-scale longitudinal firm-level datasets. Research results have been published in top entrepreneurship and innovation journals and have been widely used by policy makers at national and European Union level. The research is carried out mainly through three research projects: FIRES, “Financial and Institutional Reforms for Entrepreneurial Society”, funded by the European Commission; RISIS2, a data infrastructure project to support science and innovation policy, funded by the European Commission under the H2020 program; and a project on the economic impact on European SMEs of loan guarantee schemes in collaboration with EM Lyon Business School, funded by the European Investment Fund and the European Court of Auditors.

Principal Investigators: Massimo G. Colombo, Luca Grilli

Researcher team: Massimo G. Colombo, Annalisa Croce, Emanuele Giraudo, Massimiliano Guerini, Gresa Latifi

Funders:  European Commission (FP7 VICO and RISIS project, H2020 FIRES and RISIS2 projects), European Court of Auditors, European Investment Fund

Duration: 2015-ongoing

Partners: Multiple

KEY RESEARCH QUESTIONS

The objective of this research is to evaluate the implementation of policies aimed at addressing the financial needs of start-ups and SMEs and sustaining growth through the development of entrepreneurial activity. The research uses state-of-the-art econometric techniques for panel data and apply them to large scale longitudinal firm-level datasets. The research considers the full set of direct and indirect policy schemes for entrepreneurial ventures and SMEs. The research is presently carried out mainly through two research projects: FIRES, “Financial and Institutional Reforms for Entrepreneurial Society”, funded by the European Commission, and a project in collaboration with EM Lyon Business School, funded by the European Investment Fund and the European Court of Auditors on the economic impact on European SMEs of loan guarantee schemes. FIRES project aims at analysing the broader contexts of smart, inclusive and sustainable growth in Europe to support the implementation of the European Commission’s “Europe 2020” growth strategy and to restore Europe’s ability to innovate, grow and create jobs. Research results have been published in top entrepreneurship and innovation journals and have been widely used by policy makers at national and European Union level.

  • What is the role of entrepreneurship to restore Europe’s ability to innovate, grow and create new jobs? To what extent European (formal and informal) institutions differ from those in the U.S. and is this difference responsible for the current (in)ability to mobilize Europe’s human, financial and knowledge resources for entrepreneurial activity? What is needed to make the transition to a more entrepreneurial economy throughout Europe? Through which tools can policy makers assess the quality of national and regional entrepreneurial ecosystems? How can the allocation of talent, finance and knowledge to new value creation be improved in Europe?
  • What is the role of government venture capital in fostering the development of the European entrepreneurial finance ecosystem? Does governmental venture capital have indirect benefits on the development of the European venture capital ecosystem? Does it manage to modify the investment patterns of private venture capital investors and to improve the democratization of the venture capital industry? What is the role of mixed private-public venture capital syndicates? What are the boundary conditions that lead to the materialization of such improvements?
  • What is the (short and long) term economic impact of loan guarantee schemes? Do loan guarantee schemes improve the productivity, growth and new job creation abilities of recipient firms? Are these positive effects short-term or do they persist in the long-term? What are the boundary conditions that make these policy schemes more effective?

OUTPUTS & IMPACTS

  • Colombo, M. G., Croce, A., & Guerini, M. (2013). The effect of public subsidies on firms’ investment–cash flow sensitivity: Transient or persistent? Research Policy, 42(9), 1605-1623.
  • Colombo, M.G., Giannangeli, S., Grilli, L. (2013). Public subsidies and the employment growth of high-tech start-ups: assessing the impact of selective and automatic support schemes”, Industrial & Corporate Change, 22(5), 1273–1314.
  •  Colombo, M.G., Cumming, D., Vismara, S. (2016). Governmental venture capital for innovative young firms, Journal of Technology Transfer, , 41(1), 10-24
  • Economidou, C., Grilli, L., Henrekson, M., & Sanders, M. (2018). Financial and institutional reforms for an entrepreneurial society. Small Business Economics, 51(2), pp. 279-291
  • Grilli, L., Mrkajic, B., & Latifi, G. (2018). Venture capital in Europe: social capital, formal institutions and mediation effects. Small Business Economics, 51(2), pp. 393-410
  • Grilli, L., Murtinu, S. (2018). Selective subsidies, entrepreneurial founders’ human capital, and access to R&D alliances, Research Policy, 47(10), pp. 1945-1963.
  • Bertoni, F., Colombo, M.G., Quas, A. (2018). The role of Governmental Venture Capital in the Venture Capital ecosystem: An organizational ecology perspective”, Entrepreneurship Theory & Practice, 2018, forthcoming.
  • Bertoni, F., Colombo, M.G., Quas, A. (2018). The effects of EU-funded guarantee instruments on the performance of Small and Medium Enterprises: Evidence from France. European Investment Fund, Research & Market Analysis, Working Paper 2018/5

PARTNERS

Utrecht University, Universiteit Leuven, Friedrich-Schiller-Universitat Jena, University of Piraeus, University of Pecs, Instituto Superior Tecnico (Portugal), The Research Institute of Industrial Economics (Sweden), London School of Economics and Political Science, European Investment Fund.