Early-stage venture capital firm First Round recently released findings from its deep dive into 10 years of investment data. Among the Silicon Valley firm’s findings among the 300 startups it has invested in over the decade: Its investments in companies with at least one female founder performed 63 percent better than its investments in all-male teams. And, if you look at First Round's top 10 investments of all time based on value created for investors, three of those teams have at least one female founder — far outpacing the percentage of female tech founders in general.
You can read about First Round's other findings, all very interesting, at 10years.firstround.com.
While women-founded companies perform better, there needs to be more of them. The Kauffman Foundation, an authority on all things entrepreneurship, also released some interesting research about women in entrepreneurship recently.
While the number of women entering the workforce has significantly increased over several decades, they are still half as likely as men to start a business, and the findings are fairly consistent across all age groups, according to Kauffman’s most recent Entrepreneurship Policy Digest.
Women are one-third as likely to access equity financing through angels or venture capital, and they begin their companies with about half the capital of men.
Kauffman Foundation found the lack of women entrepreneurs is not just a gender issue, it’s an economic issue. Research shows a lack of female mentors (in one survey, half reported challenges finding mentors), challenges to maintaining work-life balance and an implicit bias against women as entrepreneurs as major obstacles.
The Digest offered suggestions to entrepreneurial programs and organizations to help more women become successful. Among them:
* Develop and report entrepreneurial program metrics by gender to better understand what works best for women entrepreneurs.
* Increase the number of women represented in entrepreneurship programs to expand access to female mentors.
* Partner with women’s professional organizations to increase awareness of Small Business Innovation Research awards. Just 15 percent of SBIR awards went to women-owned businesses in 2012.
* Celebrate successful women entrepreneurs to counter the false narrative that only men are successful entrepreneurs.