This paper reports an empirical study of Canadian informal “angel” investors. A key contribution is the development of a portrait of the decision making of these angels as well as a framework which was successful in structuring this decision making. Angels are well educated and experienced as investors. They tend to hold other full time jobs. They invest in new growth-oriented businesses, usually at the earliest stages of business development. They report a shortage of investment-ready businesses in which the principals are willing to partner with experienced investor-mentors. Investors learn about opportunities mostly from business associates. Evaluation tends to be informal, although some investors have extensive sets of due diligence materials. The key dimensions of investable business opportunities are the market potential of the business, the capability of the principals to commercialize the service or product, and the opportunity for investors to make substantive non-financial contributions to the firm.
Journal of Small Business and Entrepreneurship
Sprott School of Business

Haines, G.H. (George H.), Madill, J.J. (Judith J.), & Riding, A.L. (2003). Informal Investment in Canada: Financing Small Business Growth. Journal of Small Business and Entrepreneurship, 16(3-4), 13–40. doi:10.1080/08276331.2003.10593306