Abstract

Prior research indicates that Women-led Businesses (WLBs) have lower levels of overall funding and receive significantly less VC funding than companies led by men (MLBs). VCs typically invest in high-growth companies in growing markets (Gompers & Lerner, 2001) and WLBs tend to not be in these markets (Brush et.al., 2004). Additionally, women’s social networks consist primarily of other women (Aldrich, 1989) and because there are very few women VCs, women entrepreneurs’ networks have a much smaller likelihood of including VCs (Brush et.al., 2001). In this paper we assess 1) whether VC firms’ performance is associated with investing in WLBs, 2) whether VC firms’ social capital is associated with investments in WLBs, and 3) whether future VC firm investment in WLBs by VCs that previously invested in WLBs is associated with an increase in VC firm performance and limited network ties.

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