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Current PhD Projects

Gender Aspects in Crowdfunding Behavior / Priscilla Serwaah


The dissertation includes a series of papers on gender issues and dynamics in crowdfunding decision and behavior in general, and with emphasis on female entrepreneurs and investors in particular. Through comparative studies, it will be examined how different cultures shape perceptions about gender and its effect on females’ access to finance and female investors decisions/behavior.


It is often claimed that crowdfunding provides a means to ‘democratize’ the entrepreneurial funding process. Gender and culture are critical elements in crowdfunding and other entrepreneurial financing sources. Yet, it is unexplored in the literature how the interplay between these two constructs affects the investor decisions in crowdfunding. By this, survey data will be collected from Norway and China in the initial paper as these two countries represent extreme ends on Hofstede’s cultural dimensions. As the variables to be studied are mostly unobserved, they will be analysed by using structural equation modelling, which helps to study latent constructs. The subsequent papers may compare different crowdfunding models or use different countries contexts.

Contextual heterogeneity and marketing strategies in crowdfunding / Prince Baah-Peprah


Relatively little is known about the promotional and marketing strategies that suit different project typologies. As crowdfunding phenomenon is growing from a marginal to a mainstream discipline globally, knowledge about the marketing strategies that fit various crowdfunding typologies is imperative, especially with respect to regional disparities. Against this background, the following question become relevant; What are the best strategies for marketing crowdfunding projects while having regard to regional and contextual heterogeneity?


The study draws on supplementary claims from marketing literature to create an integrative theoretical framework reflecting a crowdfunding campaign-specific marketing framework for practitioners. In effect, the study will enable crowdfunding scholars and practitioners to understand and differentiate between marketing strategies that are suitable and adaptable for campaigns in different contexts. Thus far, the study extends the literature of crowdfunding and will serve as fruitful grounds for developing future project-related strategies in alternative financing. The study will be based on a multi-method approach; qualitative and qualitative methods. This will include a conceptual study to develop the framework and furthers studies to test the applicability of the framework in different contexts.

Investor Behavior in Crowdfunding / Daniel Berliner


Startup companies are a key player in the modern economy and are a valuable source of innovation, productivity growth, and an important factor for new job creation. Due to their nature, these young innovative ventures are usually unprofitable, thus suffering from lack of cash flows which limit their growth and threaten their survival. Traditionally, these ventures raised funds from business angel investors, venture capital funds, and IPO. Following the 2008 financial crises, these sources became harder to achieve, and even when available, come with higher interest rates. This situation has changed since the emergence of equity crowdfunding as an important alternative in the entrepreneurial finance landscape, in which companies draw funds from large groups of people in exchange to a prespecified amount of equity in the company. In this funding mechanism, entrepreneurs make an open call for funding on a crowdfunding platform, and investors make their decisions based on a mix of operational and financial criteria.

The research aims to disclose the criteria influencing investment decision making in equity crowdfunding of high-risk early-stage technological ventures, and whether it differs from other entrepreneurial finance mechanisms. In order to achieve this a comparative research will be conducted to assess the unique criteria, similarities, or differences between the various entrepreneurial finance tools. Accordingly,  this research will contribute to a better understanding of crowdfunding investment decision making and its implications for fundraiser and platform practices. Moreover, policymakers will find the results valuable due to their effect on the entrepreneurial ecosystem.

Crowdfunding Success in Emerging Economies/ Amy Ann Vik


Communities have come together for greater good ever since they have existed. This is especially so in emerging economies where there has been a sheer lack of government intervention. Crowdfunding is not a new concept in this sense however, the speed, scope and the scale of crowdfunding has exceeded all expectations ever since it went online. From emerging economies context, one might think that market trust and credibility could be daunting. Despite all odds, crowdfunding is blooming in emerging economies because the poor has the culture of giving! It is especially embedded in Islamic cultures where ’zakat’ (taxation used for charitable purposes) is an obligation and ‘saddka’ (voluntary charity) is favored.

The study aims to discover factors that influence crowdfunding success in emerging markets from a multidimensional perspective of fundraisers, funders and platforms. The dissertation will comprise of four papers using mixed methods. The first paper is a Systematic Literature review of Crowdfunding Success Factors that draws from existing literature and the knowledge gaps on which the following papers will are built upon. The second paper therefore focuses on entrepreneurs to understand what they do before and during a crowdfunding campaign to ensure success. The third paper will be from investor perspective to understand their underpinning motivations that leads to success of crowdfunding campaign. The fourth paper will be a case study of a platform that has a customized approach to successfully crowdfund local micro-entrepreneurs.

Overall, the dissertation adds to the existing crowdfunding literature on emerging economies. Although, research on crowdfunding has been steadily progressing much of it has been focused on reward-based crowdfunding and mostly in the US. When it comes to emerging economies the research is slim to start with and is mostly focused on reward-based crowdfunding in China. The current research brings in a fresh perspective steering away from what has been the research focus in so far and gets its inspiration from the crowdfunding industry where lending-based crowdfunding dominates the market and huge volumes are coming from much smaller countries and platforms.