A wonderful award made recently to Professor Richard Harrison, Chair in Entrepreneurship and Innovation at University of Edinburgh recognising the role he played promote angel investment in the UK.
The academics credited with introducing the ‘business angel’ phenomenon to the UK, and stimulating more than £750m of entrepreneurial investment each year, have been recognised with an award for their outstanding contribution to business research during the past 25 years.
University of Edinburgh Business School’s Professor Richard Harrison, and Adam Smith Business School, University of Glasgow’s Professor Colin Mason received the award for Outstanding Impact in Business, at the Economic & Social Research Council (ESRC) Celebrating Impact Awards.
The award recognises the crucial role their research has played in stimulating business angel investment and ensuring government support for this key source of entrepreneurial finance.
Unheard of in the UK before 1990, ‘business angel’ is now a commonly used term to describe wealthy individuals who invest their personal wealth in start-up, or early-stage ventures, in return for an equity stake.
The researchers’ proposals for business angel networks (BANs) was first adopted in 1991 by the UK government in five pilot projects, before going on to play a pivotal role in the Department of Trade and Industry’s best practices guide for the formation of BANs.