Hybrid Venture Capital Funds in Lithuania: Motives, Factors and Present State of Development
Substantial body of academic literature agree that thefinancial constrain is the core problem in developing earlystage small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs).Therefore, venture capital through financing and providingvalue added services is considered to be an effective tool inincreasing regions innovation capacity, fostering economicgrowth as well as job creation. Thus, financing suchpromising young ventures, especially those withtechnological background, is encouraged in many countriesthrough various Governments’ initiatives.A wide range of research explores public programmesin enhancing venture capital markets development invarious countries either through direct (when Governmentinvest directly in fund) or indirect (for instance, tax relief,etc.) measures. Therefore the present paper focuses on thedirect Government intervention in venture capital marketdevelopment, through investing in venture capital funds (asthe co-investor or limited partner) in order to facilitateSMEs through financing its early stage of development.Venture capital funds, pooled by Governments’ sources,private and institutional investors, aiming to boostinvestments in early stage innovative companies, areconsidered as hybrid venture capital funds in this paper.The article deals with the development of hybridventure capital funds in Lithuania, which were forced bythe European Union (EU) initiative Joint EuropeanResources for Micro to Medium Enterprises (JEREMIE)seeking to increase access to finance the development ofSMEs through facilitation of venture capital marketsdevelopment in various EU regions.There is lack of research focusing on the factors forefficient public policy intervention in the developing hybridventure capital funds in order to facilitate early stageSMEs. Thus, the problem of the paper covers the question:what are the motives, factors and present state ofdevelopment of hybrid venture capital funds in Lithuania.The present paper will explore the Government’sinitiative in Lithuania in terms of JEREMIE initiative.Therefore the paper aims to contribute to research dealingwith hybrid venture capital funds’ role in boostingregional economies through the financing the SMEs intheir early stage of development.The paper finds that Lithuanian venture capital marketis in its infant stage, and the Governments’ initiativetowards creation hybrid venture capital funds definitelywill increase the investments in SMEs. Moreover, supplyside,demand-side and macroeconomic factors should betaken into account in the venture capital marketsdevelopment. And still cautious actions should be set alongwith the public initiative in order to overcome the negativeaspects of venture capital investments, such as lack oftransparency, money laundering, etc.