Business angel exits: A theory of planned behaviour perpsective

Richard Harrison, Colin Mason, Tiago Botelho

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Although there are a handful of studies on business angel investment returns, the business angel literature has given little or no attention to exits and the exit strategy. This is surprising given that a primary objective of investing is to achieve a capital gain through some form of liquidity event. Using the theory of planned behaviour (TPB) as an interpretative heuristic, we examine how exits happen: specifically, what are the motivations to seek an exit and to what extent are they planned or opportunistic? Based on multiple case studies in which business angels were invited to tell the story of their most recent exit(s) the evidence suggests that the majority of liquidity events are the outcome of planned behaviour. On the basis of this we propose a typology of angel-backed investment exits as the basis for identifying future directions for research and developing practical advice to angels on effective business practices.
Original languageEnglish
JournalSmall Business Economics
Publication statusPublished - 14 Dec 2019


  • business angels
  • harvest event
  • entrepreneurial exit
  • investment returns
  • theory of planned behaviour


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