SME Financing and Performance

Research topics

Research by the “SME financing and performance” team crosses the traditional boundaries between disciplines, including entrepreneurship, finance and management, to advance scientific knowledge that also enlightens practice. Indeed, financing decisions in SMEs are inherently cross-disciplinary in nature. The “SME financing and performance” team conducts academic research intended at increasing our understanding of:

  • How providers of entrepreneurial finance such as venture capital investors, angel investors and banks make financing decisions (i.e., the supply side of the market),
  • How entrepreneurs make financing decisions and how their financing policies evolve over time (i.e., the demand side of the market), and
  • How financing decisions and access to financing influence firm performance and growth.

The research team focuses on SMEs with a potential for high impact on society, often innovative and/or high technology firms (“entrepreneurial finance”), although we also study the financing of more traditional SMEs.


  • Sophie Manigart
    Her research focuses on entrepreneurial finance, including both the supply side (venture capital, business angels, stock markets) and the demand side (entrepreneurial companies) of the market.
  • Klaas Mulier
    His research focuses on the access to finance of (small and medium sized) firms, the role of trade credit in SME finance and growth, the link between financial constraints and investment & growth, and bank lending in general.
  • Tom Vanacker
    His research focuses on entrepreneurial finance; venture capital, start-up financing and financial slack, more in particular.