Abstract

There is an enormous gap in venture capital funding between women and men led businesses, where only 3% of all venture funded businesses have a woman CEO. Research examines the “female under-performance” hypothesis as a rationale for explaining this gap by asserting industry, strategy, or entrepreneur factors as explanations. However, findings to date are inconclusive, largely because of variation and inconsistencies in samples, measures of performance (profitability, sales, exits, etc.), and control variables selected. Studies of performance of women-led ventures that are venture capital funded are missing. In such ventures, growth aspirations, industry sector, and size would be expected to be similar to ones led by men. We frame this research within social dominance theory, because it incorporates structural inequality as well as institutional norms and stereotyping (Sidanius, Pratto, van Laar & Levin, 2004) to examine the impact of exogenous factors for the bias against funding women. In this context, if social dominance theory applies, we would expect women entrepreneurs to have less success in raising total funding, and securing an exit.

Share

COinS