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The Almighty Buck Businesses

Women Founders Outpace Male Counterparts In Certain Types of Kickstarter Funding 98

Nerval's Lobster writes Women outpace men when it comes to raising money for technology projects through crowdfunding sites such as Kickstarter, according to a new study by researchers at New York University and the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania. Jason Greenberg (NYC) and Ethan Mollick (Wharton/UPenn) chose 1,250 Kickstarter projects in five categories: games and technology, where founders were predominantly male; film, with an even gender distribution; and fashion and children's books, both populated with more female founders and backers. They analyzed additional factors such as "industry typing" (a theory in which people 'often hold conscious or unconscious biases about what gender is the archetype employee in a particular occupation or industry') and restricted the data set by geography and how much money each Kickstarter project wanted (a project aiming for less than $5,000 may attract an inordinate percentage of family and friends as funders, skewing results). After crunching the data, they found that female founders of technology projects were more likely than males to achieve their Kickstarter goals, a finding that didn't extend to the other four categories. "It appears female backers are responsible for helping female founders succeed in specific industry categories that women backers generally disfavor," they theorized, adding a little later: "The value of crowdfunding is that it enables access to a pool of potential female backers particularly inclined to support women in industry categories in which they believe women to be underrepresented."
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Women Founders Outpace Male Counterparts In Certain Types of Kickstarter Funding

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  • by slew ( 2918 ) on Monday August 18, 2014 @06:20PM (#47698921)

    If a quality project can't raise money elsewhere from more traditional fund-raising sources, might this indicate a subtle case of pre-selection quality bias instead of an indication of any anything to do with kickstarter campaign odds?

    It could simply confirm that woman entrepreneurs often have less access to traditional funding sources because their industry contact lists are shorter in certain industries (which may or may not have anything to do with positive specific gender bias on kickstarter).

    This is also consistent with the fact that in industries that tend to have more even female representation, they apparently lost the bias they were measuring...

    I guess you can spin the results anyway you want...

  • Kickstarter Goals? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by TechyImmigrant ( 175943 ) on Monday August 18, 2014 @06:36PM (#47699037) Homepage Journal

    Reading TFA is seems by 'Kickstarter Goal' they mean getting funded.
    Once you've got funded you have to actually do the thing you said you were going to do with the money.

    If people are using gender to determine who they are funding, they are presumably displacing more rational metrics, like "does the project make any sense?", or "Does this person seem competent to do what they claim they can do?'.

    Thus in those areas where gender bias is measurable in funding, I would assume the odds of eventual successful delivery to be reduced.

  • by frup ( 998325 ) on Monday August 18, 2014 @07:02PM (#47699173)

    While you outline a scam by a woman which is relevant to this article, for comparison, of female started projects, how many are scams and vice versa? I would be willing to bet there are more male scammers out there (proportionally) than females, just as males are more likely to commit crime.

  • Rational decisions? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by manu0601 ( 2221348 ) on Monday August 18, 2014 @11:10PM (#47700585)
    If I understand the summary correctly, women would be investing into projects just because the leader is female?

Money can't buy love, but it improves your bargaining position. -- Christopher Marlowe