Digital entrepreneurial finance and new approaches to venture funding


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Over the last decades, thanks to a continuous process of digitalization, the financial industry has been assisting to the advent and growth of new providers side by side to traditional intermediaries (Gomber et al., 2017) and has been seeing radical changes in all areas of services provision (Bertoni et al., 2022). 

The very essence of finance and banking, that is lending and capital provision, has been particularly and deeply affected by the digital transformation (e.g., Chen et al., 2019; Cong & He, 2019; Thakor, 2020; Battisti et al., 2022), as well as the searching for funding by start-ups, new entrepreneurial initiatives, and well established small and medium-sized enterprises - SMEs (e.g., Beltrame et al., 2022; Fadil and St-Pierre, 2021). The COVID-19 pandemic has further accelerated the digitalization processes (Boot et al., 2021) and has challenged traditional sources of capital that support entrepreneurs (Howell et al., 2021). 

However, what is not yet clear is if a such digital revolution can be considered a threat or an opportunity for enterprises searching for funding. If on the one hand it makes new types of financial sources available and reduces the time of financing, on the other hand, the proliferation of innovative funding sources for new ventures has substantially increased the complexity of the start- up financing eco-system (Bertoni et al., 2022). Therefore, the effect of digitalization on entrepreneurial finance and, in general on the sources for funding small and medium-sized enterprises is worthy of further investigation. 

The Special Issue seeks contributions that will help in a better understanding of the new global landscape of entrepreneurial finance eco-system and the role that digitalization, artificial intelligence and machine learning have been having in it (Bertello et al., 2022). The aim is providing insights, paths and tools to management and financial scholars as well as to CEOs and CFOs of SMEs, entrepreneurs, start-up leaders and new financial intermediaries. 

Papers considered for the Special Issue must address a real-world digital entrepreneurial finance question by adopting a financial and/ or a managerial perspective. Purely theoretical papers (e.g., systematic literature reviews, bibliometric analysis, qualitative meta-analysis review, conceptual papers) are welcome, as are empirical papers that contribute to theory and practice using any methodological approach (e.g., time-lag studies, longitudinal studies, surveys, cross-national comparative studies, case-studies, mixed-methods studies).


List of topic areas

The Guest Editors invite conceptual, methodological, and empirical contributions that address themes such as - but not limited - to the following: 

  • New types of players in the entrepreneurial finance eco-system 
  • Alternative financing channels complementing traditional venture capital (VC) and business angel (BA) funding (e.g. corporate venture capital and search funds) 
  • Crowdfunding 
  • Peer-to-peer (P2P) lending 
  • Marketplace lending 
  • Mini bonds 
  • Initial coin offerings (ICOs) and Token Offerings Cryptocurrencies, Blockchains, and Smart Contracts 
  • Artificial Intelligence and machine learning for entrepreneurial finance 
  • Disintermediation of equity underwriting 
  • The effect of digitalization on traditional entrepreneurial finance intermediaries


Guest Editors

Antonio Salvi, 
Department of Management, University of Turin, Italy, 
[email protected] 

Carmen Gallucci, 
Department of Management & Innovation System, University of Salerno, Italy, 
[email protected] 

Lead Guest Editor:
Enrico Battisti, 
Department of Management, University of Turin, Italy, 
[email protected]

Rosalia Santulli, 
Department of Economics, University of Genoa, Italy, 
[email protected] 

Stefano Filomeni, 
University of Essex, Essex Business School, Finance Group (Colchester, UK)
[email protected]


Submissions Information

Submissions are made using ScholarOne Manuscripts. Registration and access are available by clicking the button below.

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Author guidelines must be strictly followed.
Authors should select (from the drop-down menu) the special issue title at the appropriate step in the submission process, i.e. in response to “Please select the issue you are submitting to”. 
Submitted articles must not have been previously published, nor should they be under consideration for publication anywhere else, while under review for this journal.


Key Deadlines

Opening date for manuscripts submissions: 15 September 2023 
Closing date for manuscripts submission: 15 December 2023



Battisti, E., Alfiero, S., & Leonidou, E. (2022), Remote working and digital transformation during the COVID-19 pandemic: Economic–financial impacts and psychological drivers for employees, Journal of Business Research, 150, 38-50. 
Beltrame, F., Grassetti, L., Bertinetti, G.S. and Sclip, A. (2022), Relationship lending, access to credit and entrepreneurial orientation as cornerstones of venture financing, Journal of Small Business and Enterprise Development, 
Bertello, A., Battisti, E., De Bernardi, P., & Bresciani, S. (2022). An integrative framework of knowledge-intensive and sustainable entrepreneurship in entrepreneurial ecosystems. Journal of Business Research, 142, 683-693. 
Bertoni, F., Bonini, S., Capizzi, V., Colombo, M. G., & Manigart, S. (2022). Digitization in the market for entrepreneurial finance: Innovative business models and new financing channels. Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice, 46(5), 1120-1135. 
Boot, A., Hoffmann, P., Laeven, L., & Ratnovski, L. (2021). Fintech: what’s old, what’s new?. Journal of Financial Stability, 53, 100836. 
Chen, M. A., Wu, Q., & Yang, B. (2019). How valuable is FinTech innovation?. The Review of Financial Studies, 32(5), 2062-2106. 
Cong, L. W., & He, Z. (2019). Blockchain disruption and smart contracts. The Review of Financial Studies, 32(5), 1754-1797. 
Fadil, N. and St-Pierre, J. (2021), Growing SMEs and internal financing: the role of business practices, Journal of Small Business and Enterprise Development, Vol. 28 No. 7, pp. 973-994. 
Gomber, P., Koch, J. A., & Siering, M. (2017). Digital Finance and Fintech: current research and future research directions. Journal of Business Economics, 87(5), 537-580. 
Howell, S. T., Lerner, J., Nanda, R., & Townsend, R. (2020). How resilient is venture-backed innovation? Evidence from four decades of US patenting. NBER Working Paper, (w27150). 
Thakor, A. V. (2020). Fintech and banking: What do we know?. Journal of Financial Intermediation, 41, 100833.