Entrepreneurial finance is a fast-growing phenomenon in this day and age. New forms of financing are developing at a rapid pace with the changing European economy and the increasing number of startups and scale-ups. What is lagging behind in these developments is the literature. Until now, that is. The book “Entrepreneurial Finance: The Art and Science of Growing Ventures” is a new standard work, textbook and research book all in one, drawing enthusiastic responses from numerous students, lecturers and critics.
The initiators behind the new book are Luisa Alemany, professor of entrepreneurial finance at ESADE Business School in Barcelona, and Job Andreoli, senior lecturer and PhD candidate at the Center for Finance at Nyenrode Business Universiteit.
“I have been teaching the entrepreneurial finance course at Nyenrode for four years now,” Job Andreoli explains. “I more or less had free rein in structuring the lectures. The course material was based on a book from 2012. That book turned out to be outdated in several areas, just like all the other books on this subject. The developments in the field of financing for entrepreneurs have unfolded at an incredible rate over the last few years. Many types of financing were not included in the content of the book, such as crowdfunding and social/impact investing. Furthermore, it was an American book focused on the American market. Europe is developing differently, however, and we have to grapple with far more government intervention. The book also had a conventional structure and format. I'm a fan of interactive lectures, not conventional lectures in which the lecturer speaks and students simply take notes. That book gave students a ‘push’ where I’d like to see more of a ‘pull’. There was just too much missing to fill the lectures with the content that students deserve.”
Job Andreoli and Luisa Alemany decided to publish their own book. “I met Luisa Alemany in July 2016 during a lecture series on entrepreneurship at Harvard University. Our conversation quickly turned to the topic of course material and we came up with the idea for a new book. After some discussion, we decided to write that book ourselves. It sounds quite simple, but the two years it took to complete the book were anything but easy.” The first step was to find a publisher. “We ended up choosing Cambridge University Press: the best publisher for this type of book, in our opinion. Fortunately they responded very positively to our proposal.”
The book consists of 18 chapters, which cover entrepreneurial financing from concept to stock market listing. “We worked on the first and eighteenth chapters together, Luisa wrote Chapter 8 and I wrote Chapter 2. For the other chapters, we sought the input of people from all over Europe. Each chapter addresses a different topic, written by an expert in that specific area. These experts are fully informed on their respective subjects and have written with knowledge and enthusiasm.”
“All of these writers were asked to put together a chapter according to the format of the book. Only two of the contributors were native English speakers. The texts were therefore sent back and forth a few times between the experts, a linguistic editor and us. But the whole process was very friendly and exciting, with a result that we are all proud of. We went through some intense months, but once you have the book in your hands and hear the positive responses, you know that it was worth all the effort.”
A textbook with a research book approach
The book “Entrepreneurial Finance: The Art and Science of Growing Ventures” forgoes the conventional style of teaching. Its layout follows a logical and distinct structure. Each chapter begins with a Financial Times article related to the topic (called the “View from the media”), which makes the topic’s practical relevance clear right from the start. The learning objectives are then clearly stated up front, and interim discussion points are included throughout the text. The chapter ends with questions to assess whether students have understood the material as well as a list of suggested book titles for further reading. Numerous real-world case studies are presented for recognizability. It is truly a textbook with a research book approach, where theory and practice come together. With contributions from twenty experts, the result is a book written by Europe, for Europe.
The book has received glowing reviews, with readers describing it as innovative and enterprising. “That is exactly what it’s intended to be,” Andreoli affirms. But it will be some time before we can expect a second book. “The current priority is my PhD, which has taken a backseat for the past year. Maybe after that it will be time for a follow-up edition.”
Entrepreneurial Finance: The Art and Science of Growing Ventures
Cambridge University Press, 2018
Visit the Cambridge University Press website for a preview of the book and additional background information: http://admin.cambridge.org/academic/subjects/management/entrepreneurship-and-innovation/entrepreneurial-finance-art-and-science-growing-ventures