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Entrepreneurship Centre

Cross-border financing of high-growth entrepreneurs: Emerging trends & policy implications

The 4th annual Oxford Entrepreneurship Policy Roundtable (OXEPR) May 18, 2018 is hosted in partnership with the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses Programme.


  • Gilles Duruflé (Tech Innovation Platform, Quebec City Conference)
  • Thomas Hellmann (Saïd Business School, University of Oxford)
  • Karen Wilson (OECD & Affiliate Fellow, Saïd Business School, University of Oxford)

The roundtable focuses on the role of cross-border investments in the growth of entrepreneurial ventures. It examines the extent to which such investments benefit the local ecosystem, as well as the role of public policies in facilitating them. The roundtable will present trends in the evolution of cross-border financing over time and discuss the impact of different cross-border financing combinations, with a focus on US investments in Europe, Israel, and Canada, as well as cross-European investments.

Evidence indicates that cross-border investments play an important role in the scaling up of high growth companies. However, when European start-up companies obtain funding from US investors, especially at the later scale-up stage, there is concern that this financing may transfer the majority of economic activity in the direction of the investor country. On the one hand, start-up ventures welcome the foreign capital, expertise, and networks that accompany cross-border investments. On the other hand, policy-makers worry that cross-border investments predominantly benefit foreign economies and fail to benefit local ecosystems. Cross-European investments, as well as US and Asian investments in Europe and abroad, are becoming more common, yet policies regarding cross-border financing vary widely. Policies in some countries like Israel and Canada actively encourage foreign investments, especially from the US. Many other countries, however, lack policies and/or implicitly discourage cross-border financing. In this roundtable, we will explore the challenges faced by companies, investors, and policy-makers, and consider options for appropriate and effective policy responses.

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