Frontiers of Entrepreneurship Research
1997 Edition

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Joakim Winborg, Halmstad University, Sweden
Hans Landström, Halmstad University, Sweden


Case: Lars Andersson Engineering Ltd

Aim of the Study

Data gathering process
TABLE 1: Drop-out analysis
Variables used in the study
Description of the sample


The use of financial bootstrapping measures
TABLE 2: Use of bootstrapping measures for capital minimization
TABLE 3: Use of bootstrapping measures to meet need for capital
Groups of Financial Bootstrapping Measures
TABLE 4: Rotated Orthogonal Factor Analysis for Bootstrapping measures
Cluster of Financial Boostrappers
TABLE 5: Cluster Analysis (Six Cluster Solution)

APPENDIX 1: Independent variables used in the study
APPENDIX 2: Bootstrapping measures examined



It seems fair to argue that a major part of the research in small business finance has been focused on the supply of capital, departuring from a rather narrow definition of finance referring mainly to "capital" as such. In our opinion research in small business finance has to originate from the small business manager´s own logic, and the definition of finance has to be extended to include the different resources needed in the business. In line with this reasoning this study focuses on small business managers´ use of measures in order to meet the need for resources without using external capital from institutional sources, called financial bootstrapping measures. The focus on resources needed makes us believe that the resource-based theory can be fruitful in order to help us understand small business finance.

The research process was initiated with a number of exploratory interviews. On the basis of this empirical framework, together with a literature study, a questionnaire was constructed and sent to 900 small business managers in Sweden. From the explorative interviews a total of 32 different bootstrapping measures were identified. The bootstrapping measures were separated into two comprehensive groups of measures; (i) measures with the aim of reducing need for capital, and (ii) measures used in order to meet need for capital. The cluster analysis undertaken resulted in the identification of six clusters of bootstrappers, differing fundamentally from each other with respect to the use of bootstrapping measures. Further, independent variables discriminating between the six clusters were isolated in order to get a picture of the typical business in each cluster. On the basis of these pictures the six clusters were labelled: (1) delaying bootstrappers, (2) relationship oriented bootstrappers, (3) subsidy bootstrappers, (4) minimizing bootstrappers, (5) non-bootstrappers and finally, (6) the private owner financed bootstrappers. For future research and policy making we would like to emphasize the importance of broadening the focus when discussing small business finance, to include the small business manager´s own logic encompassing the resource acquisition process as such, in order to better understand the way small business managers handle capital requirements.


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