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ESG Implementation in Venture Capital Investments: A qualitative study of Swedish State-owned Investors
Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Umeå School of Business.
Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Umeå School of Business.
2010 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (One Year)), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

The need for sustainable investments has grown dramatically in recent years and so has the pressure on investors, especially state-owned investors, to integrate sustainability factors in their investments. Several researchers state that private equity investors play a major role in creating new businesses and influencing new companies towards sustainability. On the Swedish private equity market, a major part of the funds available to growth companies are provided by the Government. State-owned investor’s role to create sustainable businesses in Sweden is therefore essential. However, research on how to implement ESG issues into venture capital investments is rare. Still today, we could not find any reports on how ESG issues are implemented by Swedish state-owned investors.

An empirical study was conducted on four major Swedish state-owned investors with the purpose to answer how state-owned investors implement ESG issues in venture capital investments. The study also aimed to identify problems with implementing ESG and how can state-owned investors work to deal with these problems.

Interviews with investment managers and people working within these organization showed that it is generally up to each investor how ESG issues are being considered in the due diligence and screening process within direct investments. When it comes to post-investment activities the responsibility to work with ESG issues lays upon the board of each firm.

The study further showed that little is being done to implement ESG issues within indirect investments. The study shows that ESG issues are not included in the valuation of general partner or as criteria for investing in a fund or other partnerships. A final conclusion is that when it comes to how state-owned investors are working with venture capital investments, ESG issues are integrated in how investors think, but it is not implemented in how investors act.

In order to move from integration to implementation we suggest that investors could use a set of templates in the screening and due diligence process. Every template should be specific for the sector that includes the type of ESG criteria that is relevant for this sector. When it comes to indirect investments, the implementation of ESG issues is harder due to limited possibility to actively directing funds. The focus should be working with co-investors with the same values and beliefs and influence the board of the fund.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2010. , 52 p.
National Category
Business Administration
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-35047OAI: diva2:328426
Social and Behavioural Science, Law
Available from: 2010-07-05 Created: 2010-07-04 Last updated: 2010-07-05Bibliographically approved

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