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Susan Coleman and Alicia Robb

Prior research suggests that access to financial capital, a key resource input for growth-oriented firms, may be more of a challenge for women-owned firms than for men. In this study we use data from the Kauffman Firm Survey to examine gender differences in firm growth as well as financing patterns and credit market experiences for a large sample of US firms that began operation in 2004 and were tracked from 2004 through 2011. Our findings revealed significant gender gaps in the amount of capital raised for both growth-oriented and non-growth firms, even controlling for credit risk, industry, and other firm and owner characteristics.

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Susan Coleman and Alicia Robb

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Susan Coleman and Alicia Robb

Prior research reveals that women are less likely to launch growth-oriented firms than men. Further, when women do attempt to grow their firms, they do so with smaller amounts of financial capital, typically generated by internal rather than external sources. The gender funding gap is particularly evident in the category of external equity or capital provided by angel investors and venture capitalists, the majority of whom are men. Based on Thomas Dewey’s principles of experiential education, the Rising Tide Angel Training Program was designed to increase the number of women angel investors capable of investing in a greater number of women-owned firms. This chapter provides a description of the Rising Tide program and results from the first training cohort.

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Alicia Robb and Susan Coleman

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Colette Henry, Barbara Orser, Susan Coleman, Lene Foss and Friederike Welter

Public policy is a key element within the entrepreneurial ecosystem in that policy has the potential to shape venture creation behavior and entrepreneurial outcomes. In response to studies documenting a gender gap in entrepreneurial activity, government attention to women’s entrepreneurship has increased in the past two decades. Nevertheless, there are few cross-cultural studies to inform policy development. This 13-nation study draws on gender and institutional theory to report on the status of female-focused SME/entrepreneurship policies and to ask: How — and to what extent — do women’s entrepreneurship policies differ among countries? A common methodological approach is used to identify gaps in the policy-practice nexus, highlighting countries where policy is weak but practice is strong and vice versa. Recommendations for future research are advanced.