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NOTE: Since 2009 the title of the International Journal of Entrepreneurship Education (IJEE) has been changed to the title above.  ISSN numbers: IJEE 1649-2269 and IRE 2009-2822

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On Being a Knowledge Angel

IJEE Vol 2: Issue 3, 2004, Pages 269-286

Author(s): Douglas Hague (Templeton College, Oxford and Manchester Business School, UK)

Abstract:
This article gives an unashamedly autobiographical view of entrepreneurs, knowledge angels and the relationships between them, being based on the author's direct experience of five start-up companies. It first distinguishes knowledge angels from venture capitalists and business angels, defining knowledge angels as business angels with little capital. Its core is tailor-made case histories of the author and of two young entrepreneurs on whose boards he has worked. This makes it possible to consider the attributes of the author as a knowledge angel and also to identify key characteristics of successful graduate entrepreneurs, including the need for appropriate flexibility; for colleagues who provide a stabilising influence; and for continuous learning from experience and observation. The paper then considers what entrepreneurs seek from knowledge angels - especially experience, expertise and contacts - and what angels obtain for themselves. Finally, there are suggested approaches for future studies in this field. From this article, students and teachers with little business experience will obtain a better understanding of the way that entrepreneurial companies operate, their key business issues and personal relationships within them. It gives readers outside the UK a rare opportunity to identify similarities and differences between start-ups in the UK and in their own countries.

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