Startup Mind: Does Gender Matter?

The Small Business Administration recently released a report titled: “Are Male and Female Entrepreneurs Really That Different?” The study’s main conclusion is that, when other factors are controlled, gender does not affect a new ventures performance. However, the approach and type of business started is impacted by the gender of the entrepreneur.

For example, women and men often decide to become entrepreneurs for different reasons: men are more likely to start a technology business and to start a business with a primary objective of making money. Women are more likely to operate in low risk and non-profit business sectors. Interestingly, women are more likely to operate a business with positive revenue (not the typical startup model) while men are more likely to own a firm with employees (bonding, not bossing!).

While these differences may seem unsurprising to some, the real question was whether performance (in terms of success) was affected by gender. According to this report, the answer is a definitive no. Instead, differences in business performance are due to industry or start-up experience. As an aside, Time Magazine recently published an article on the coming boom in female entrepreneurs.


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