Early Stage Investors and Entrepreneurs in Emerging Markets
TWCF Number
Project Duration
December 1 / 2021
- November 30 / 2023
Core Funding Area
Individual Freedom and Free Markets
North America
Amount Awarded

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Emanuele Colonnelli
Institution The University of Chicago

This project aims to provide some of the first evidence on high-growth entrepreneurship in emerging markets (EMs), with a focus on the venture capital (VC) ecosystem. 

Until 2010, the number of VC deals outside of the U.S., Western Europe, and China were incredibly small relative to the total activity in the global ecosystem. In recent years, many leading VC firms have started venturing into fast-growing ecosystems, such as Africa. Because the phenomenon is so recent, there is virtually no rigorous evidence regarding the VC ecosystem in EMs. The leading challenge academics and practitioners face is a shortage of comprehensive, reliable data. This project will shed light on these issues through an ambitious data collection process focused on all the major stakeholders in the entrepreneurial ecosystem of EMs.

The project, led by Emanuele Colonnelli from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business will:

  • Create the most comprehensive dataset to date on VC investors by combining data from global providers with manually collected data from the market.
  • Create similar datasets for other key players in the ecosystem, namely development finance institutions (DFIs), startup incubators and accelerators, angel investors, and, importantly, high-growth startups and entrepreneurs.
  • Armed with this new data, the project will conduct multiple empirical analyses to contribute to our understanding of a fundamental question in entrepreneurship and development: Why doesn’t capital flow from established to developing countries?
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