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Venture Capital Industry and Entrepreneurial Finance (CIMR Debates and Workshops in Public Policy)

Venue: Online

In recent years, significant changes in the socio-economic environment and the use of new technologies have led to drastic shifts in the way start-ups and small firms operate, raise funding and interact with other players of the entrepreneurial ecosystem. As a result, the Venture Capital and Entrepreneurial Finance disciplines have received particular interest from scholars, practitioners and policy-makers.

Venture capital plays a significant role in economic development through the emergence of new firms, technologies, industries and markets. This role, however, is associated with systemic uneven development regionally as both the supply of venture capital and the investment in new and growing ventures is highly concentrated regionally in the core economic regions of a country. Over the past decade, this intra-national regional concentration has been accompanied by an increasing internationalisation of the venture capital industry, as cross-border investment becomes more significant.

On the other hand, there is often a significant gender gap in entrepreneurial financing. Investors’ perceived incongruity between the female gender stereotypes and the think-entrepreneur-think male convention (TETM) is an important cause of this gender gap. However, macro crises such as the Global Financial Crisis (GFC) and the COVID-19 pandemic can shake the established institutional norms associated with TETM, thereby changing the perceived gender role incongruity for female entrepreneurs.

In this panel debate, we will discuss the following topics:

  • Internationalisation of the Venture Capital industry and its implications for regional economic development in the UK.
  • Gender gap in Entrepreneurial Finance: Effects of the Global Financial Crisis (GFC) and the COVID-19 pandemic on investments in female-founded ventures.



  • Dr. Grace Bo Peng, Birkbeck, University of London 
  • Dr. Muthu De Silva, Birkbeck, University of London 
  • Dr. Yannis Pierrakis, UIC Barcelona
  • Chair: Dr. Marion Frenz, Birkbeck, University of London


Dr. Grace Bo Peng is a lecturer in management at the Department of Management, Birkbeck, University of London. She received a PhD from Bayes Business School, City, University of London. Her research interest includes entrepreneurial finance and exit strategy. Before joining Birkbeck in 2018, Grace worked as a research fellow on the entrepreneurship finance projects in the Warwick Business School. She has published in world-leading journals such as Academy of Management Journal, Organization Science, Journal of Travel Research and Tourism Management.

Dr. Muthu De Silva is a Reader (Associate Professor) in Entrepreneurship and Innovation and the Assistant Dean (Research) at Birkbeck, University of London, UK. Her research contributes to our knowledge on co-creation. She has published in world-leading journals such as Research Policy, Journal of Organizational Behaviour, British Journal of Management, International Small Business Journal, Technological Forecasting and Social Change, Journal of Business Research, Industrial Marketing Management, R&D Management, Technovation, International Business Review and Studies in Higher Education. She has secured major grants from Innovate UK, Intellectual Property Office, EU and British Academy/Leverhulme, OECD, and British Academy of Management. She is a fellow of Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce. She is in the Editorial Board of the British Journal of Management.

Dr. Yannis Pierrakis teaches entrepreneurial finance, and his research interests include venture capital, business angels, start-up creation, crowdfunding and Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs). Before joining UIC Barcelona, Yannis worked as an Associate Professor at Kingston University London and prior to that as an Innovation Consultant for The World Bank, Finance and Private Sector Development Department in Europe and Central Asia. He was previously Head of Investments Research at NESTA, London, UK and Research Associate at Cardiff Business School, UK. He received his PhD from Cardiff University in 2012. His publications appear in journals such as Regional Studies, Technology Transfer and Business Venturing Insights.

Dr. Marion Frenz joined Birkbeck and the Department of Management in January 2003 as a Research Officer and was appointed Lecturer in Management in January 2005. During 2007 she was seconded to the UK Department for Innovation University and Skills, Science and Innovation Analysis Unit, and her stay funded through an Economic and Social Research Council grant. She previously was a Research Assistant at London South Bank University and City University.

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