Archil Mamporia

Title: State Innovation Policy Challenges in Facilitating Entrepreneurship in the FinTech Sector – the Cases of Georgia and Estonia

Supervisor: Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Drechsler

Opponent: Mikheil Shkiereli, MA

Defense: 9 June 2017


Abstract: The emerging financial technology (FinTech) sector is reshaping the traditional understanding of the finance. FinTech, i.e. technology-based solutions in the financial industry have been attracting more and more attention from the policymakers during the last five years. Overall indicators and influential factors in the academic literature propose the policy dilemma to regulate disrupted the financial sector and embrace the prospects, as well as, enable innovation by easing the restrictions and facilitate entrepreneurship in the FinTech sector. The following research paper provides an overview of the state innovation policy challenges; the further analysis of the subject matter is based on the two country cases - Estonian and Georgian FinTech sectors. Both countries show some similarities in socio-economic and historical background; e.g. after regaining independence from the Soviet Union, attempts for transition to the liberal market economies, stabilizing the growth, catch-up with the developed world. Despite the similarities, we have seen a development gap between these countries. Estonia has seen a significant development of the overall innovation ecosystem and the FinTech sector; whereas, Georgia lags behind and its innovation ecosystem and accordingly, Fintech sector are yet to thrive. The study is providing exploratory research. It is based on secondary research - reports, academic literature - and primary research - interviews with various actors in the FinTech sector. Interview data are analysed with the help of a casual loop diagram in order to deduce keynotes regarding the issues posed by the research.