Linking Private Equity To Small Businesses In Rural Appalachian Communities

ASU Author/Contributor (non-ASU co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Samuel Crouse (Creator)
Appalachian State University (ASU )
Web Site:
Brandy Hadley

Abstract: Previous studies have shown that private capital and entrepreneurship have a positive correlation. Because of this, the Appalachian economy stands to benefit by linking small businesses to investors. However, no significant deal flow currently exists between private equity or venture capital firms and rural Appalachian businesses. While the clog in the deal flow can be blamed on capital being concentrated in urban centers, it should also be analyzed from the perspective of the business owner. However, there is little literature that discusses the willingness of Appalachian business owners to partner with an investor. This paper attempts to fill this gap in the existing literature by assessing the attractiveness of Appalachian investments based on 1) the companies’ outlooks for growth, 2) the risk tolerance of the business owners, and 3) what the business owners would require from an investor apart from cash. Data was gathered from a survey and eight interviews. The majority of the participants had a negative outlook for the Appalachian economy, little desire to grow their businesses, and a low risk tolerance. However, manufacturers stood out as having better growth prospects and a higher tolerance for risk. While the majority of the participants had no desire to partner with an investor, they appeared willing to cooperate and accept suggestions and changes that a partner might make. Additionally, the participants appeared to value protecting their business’s reputation and employees above a dollar amount when considering an offer from an investor. Any investor must respect the business owner’s commitments to their employees and their communities.

Additional Information

Honors Project
Crouse, S. (2021). Linking Private Equity To Small Businesses In Rural Appalachian Communities. Unpublished Honors Thesis. Appalachian State University, Boone, NC.
Language: English
Date: 2021
Appalachian Economy, Appalachian Business Owners, Investing in Rural Communities, Angel Investing

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