Where’s the Equity for Women Entrepreneurs?
In earlier chapters, EDP data showed the effects that impact-oriented accelerators have on the short-term commercial performance of participating ventures. The focus tightened in Chap. 9 to look at differences between emerging markets and high-income countries, highlighting the specific challenges associated with accelerating early-stage ventures in less robust ecosystems. This chapter shifts focus again to home in on a group of entrepreneurs whose potential and performance tend to be under-appreciated: women. More specifically, EDP data are used to illuminate the issues that women entrepreneurs face when it comes to attracting outside equity investment. Roughly half of the ventures in the sample report at least one woman among their top three founders, most on mixed-gender founding teams. A look at outside equity investment across three groups of ventures—founded by men, mixed-gender teams, and women—reveals a troubling cascade that favors men. The ensuing analyses show that this cascade is not fully explained by obvious venture or entrepreneur differences across the three groups. The chapter closes by showing that accelerators may not be as helpful as many would hope when it comes to addressing inequities faced by women entrepreneurs.