The Importance of Cultivating the Talents of Women in Business

Dec 20, 2011

According to a recent report from the Kauffman Foundation, women hold the key to growing our tired economy. Today, women comprise 46% of the workforce and 50% of all college students. When it comes to business development, however, they only account for 35% of new startup business owners. Concurrently, more women than ever are entering science and technology fields in the United States. While these are extremely high growth industries, women launch their firms at significantly lower rates than men do. Consequently, more focus than ever is being placed on bringing up female entrepreneurs. An article from Entrepreneurship’s Foreign Policy Blog elaborates:

As Lesa Mitchell, Kauffman Foundation vice president for advancing innovation, and the paper's author, pointed out, "Women's entrepreneurship is an economic issue, not a gender-equity issue." And thanks to organizations like Astia and events like the Kauffman Foundation’s FastTrac Global Women's Summit in Kansas City last month and the We Own it Summit in London in June, the next 10 years are being called the 'Decade of the Woman Entrepreneur'. This and other summits in 2011 brought together bright minds to address the motivations, funding issues, metrics and solutions for women's participation in high-growth entrepreneurship. With more data now available, at such events we can finally start separating more myths from reality.

For example, scientific education is not the main barrier in the U.S where more women than men are earning PhDs in the biological sciences. The problem is that few have been educated as innovators. Without entrepreneurial education, this growing percentage of the scientifically skilled community will not contribute to U.S. economic competitiveness through innovation. Researcher and prolific writer Vivek Wadhwa’s findings also helped dispel motivation assumptions. His data shows that both men and women tend to have an equally strong desire to build wealth. The only clearly perceptible difference was in the encouragement that they received from co-founders.

Read the article in its entirety here.

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