How crowdfunded impact investing can be an alternative fundraising strategy for student entrepreneurs: A case of Ashesi entrepreneurship ecosystem?

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Student entrepreneurship has emerged as an important topic in recent years. Entrepreneurial activities amongst students in universities and colleges seems to be high, though there is no reliable data to show the exact number of student entrepreneurs (Seymour, 2001). There are many examples of large companies that were started by students. Some notable examples of student entrepreneurs include Mark Zuckerberg (he created Facebook with his roommates from Harvard University), and Larry Page (co-founder of Google as a student at Stanford University). Even as entrepreneurial activity among students continues to rise, there is a surprising lack of scholarly research related to the topic of student entrepreneurship. Ashesi University has a core mandate of producing ethical, entrepreneurial leaders, the number of student entrepreneurs from Ashesi seem to be increasing per year group. Interviewing a few students, as well as the researcher’s own experiences in entrepreneurship, through the Ashesi Student Launchpad (ASL), one of the main challenges facing student entrepreneurs is that of funding. However, one of the main challenges facing student entrepreneurs is funding. This came to the fore, throughout interviews with student entrepreneurs and researchers. The goal of this research was to explore how a crowdfunded impact investing strategy could be adopted as an alternative for student entrepreneurs- specifically student entrepreneurs of Ashesi University to support student enterprises which require funding to grow. Furthermore, this study explored the highlights and drawbacks of implementing a crowdfunded impact investing strategy as an alternative source of financing for Ashesi’s student entrepreneurs.
Undergraduate thesis submitted to the Department of Business Administration, Ashesi University, in partial fulfillment of Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration, May 2021
fundraising, student entrepreneurship, crowdfunding