Are Male and Female Entrepreneurs Really That Different?

We’ve frequently looked at traits and characteristics of small business owners on this blog (for example: here, here), and asked questions such as “Do women make better entrepreneurs?”  

I was happy to stumble across a research study conducted by the SBA which lends some more data to our conversations.  

Specifically the report looks a sample size of 685 small business owners, of which 349 are women owned firms, in hopes of  answering the question:

Are Male and Female Entrepreneurs Really That Different?

While gender was shown not to affect new venture performance when preferences, motivation, and expectations were controlled for, the differences observed among men’s and women’s new business ventures include the following:

• Men had more business experience prior to opening the business and higher expectations.

• Women entrepreneurs had a larger average household size.

• The educational backgrounds of male and female entrepreneurs were similar.

• Women were less likely than men to purchase their business.

• Women were more likely to have positive revenues

• Men were more likely to own an employer firm.

• Female owners were more likely to prefer low risk/return businesses.

• Men spent slightly more time on their new ventures than women.

• Male owners were more likely to start a business to make money, had higher expectations for their business, and did more research to identify business opportunities.

• Male entrepreneurs were more likely to found technologically intensive businesses, businesses that lose their competitive advantage more quickly, and businesses that have a less geographically localized customer base.

• Male owners spent more effort searching for business opportunities and this held up when other factors were controlled for.

What do you think? Are these findings consistent with what you’ve experienced?

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If you are interested in reading the entire 65 page report, you can find it here: Male and female entrepreneurs.pdf
Photo Credit: Smoke Da Life

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