Hybrid Venture Capital Funds in Lithuania: Motives, Factors and Present State of Development
Keywords: Hybrid venture capital fund, small and medium sized enterprises, European Union support, JEREMIE initiative
AbstractSubstantial body of academic literature agree that the financial constrain is the core problem in developing early stage small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs). Therefore, venture capital through financing and providing value added services is considered to be an effective tool in increasing regions innovation capacity, fostering economic growth as well as job creation. Thus, financing such promising young ventures, especially those with technological background, is encouraged in many countries through various Governments' initiatives.A wide range of research explores public programmes in enhancing venture capital markets development in various countries either through direct (when Government invest directly in fund) or indirect (for instance, tax relief, etc.) measures. Therefore the present paper focuses on the direct Government intervention in venture capital market development, through investing in venture capital funds (as the co-investor or limited partner) in order to facilitate SMEs through financing its early stage of development. Venture capital funds, pooled by Governments' sources, private and institutional investors, aiming to boost investments in early stage innovative companies, are considered as hybrid venture capital funds in this paper.The article deals with the development of hybrid venture capital funds in Lithuania, which were forced by the European Union (EU) initiative Joint European Resources for Micro to Medium Enterprises (JEREMIE) seeking to increase access to finance the development of SMEs through facilitation of venture capital markets development in various EU regions.There is lack of research focusing on the factors for efficient public policy intervention in the developing hybrid venture capital funds in order to facilitate early stage SMEs. Thus, the problem of the paper covers the question: what are the motives, factors and present state of development of hybrid venture capital funds in Lithuania.The present paper will explore the Government's initiative in Lithuania in terms of JEREMIE initiative. Therefore the paper aims to contribute to research dealing with hybrid venture capital funds' role in boosting regional economies through the financing the SMEs in their early stage of development.The paper finds that Lithuanian venture capital market is in its infant stage, and the Governments' initiative towards creation hybrid venture capital funds definitely will increase the investments in SMEs. Moreover, supply-side, demand-side and macroeconomic factors should be taken into account in the venture capital markets development. And still cautious actions should be set along with the public initiative in order to overcome the negative aspects of venture capital investments, such as lack of transparency, money laundering, etc.
THE ECONOMIC CONDITIONS OF ENTERPRISE FUNCTIONING