Strategies That Chinese Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises Use to Attract Venture Capital

Abstract

Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) contribute to China’s economic growth and help maintain social stability. However, SME business leaders have cited access to finance as an obstacle of SMEs’ survival and success. The purpose of this multiple case study was to identify main strategies SME entrepreneurs and business leaders used to attract venture capital (VC) investments to achieve financial sustainability and business expansion. Data were collected from a purposive sample of 23 entrepreneurs and leaders from 4 SMEs in China and an analysis of organizational artifacts. The resource-based view theory served as the primary conceptual framework. The data analysis process entailed using coding techniques to identify keywords, narrative segments, and concepts. Member checking ensured the credibility and trustworthiness of the data interpretation and analysis. The process led to 4 themes including developing a unique and pioneering business model, assembling a management team with industry experience, indicating use of raised capital in investing in technology, and engaging with superior principal endorsements during the fund-raising efforts. The implication for positive social change included the potential to enhance the capability of SME entrepreneurs and business leaders to obtain VC funding to support their businesses, which can increase economic development and improve the social stability of local communities in China. The findings from the study may contribute to the development of the SME sector in China and benefit their owners, business leaders, employees, future entrepreneurs, the local community, as well as economy of China.