Paths to Scale: Finance lessons from European Entrepreneurs

Nesta has published a new report, Paths to Scale: Finance Lessons from European Entrepreneurs, a practical guide for entrepreneurs in Europe wishing to raise external funds to grow their business. The report aims to educate and inspire entrepreneurs by offering practical tips illustrated by stories from scaleup founders.

Key findings:

  • The stories of European entrepreneurs in this report illustrate various “paths to scale”, along with the opportunities and challenges that entrepreneurs face when trying to finance their growing business. The diversity of their experiences demonstrates that there is not one path to growth, but many.
  • The type(s) of capital raised is the product of an entrepreneur’s assessment of the added-value of one source of capital over the other (e.g., business validation, mentoring, access to networks and markets, etc.), and perceived suitability for their business (e.g., terms of the investment, cost of capital, growth prospects, etc.).
  • Combining different types of finance is common practice. Various intermediary tools and steps exist to ease the process and keep the business afloat in between and during funding rounds.
  • There is an array of resources and support available for entrepreneurs. From grants to investors’ networks, we have listed both European- and country-level resources that offer support to entrepreneurs throughout their growth journeys.