Gender Bias and Venture Funding: Discussing Bias in the Entrepreneurship Classroom
Entrepreneurship Education and Pedagogy
We report on the findings from an in-class experiment that represents a learning innovation which can enable classroom-based conversations about bias in the domain of entrepreneurship. More specifically, the present learning innovation explores gender bias in venture funding with regard to entrepreneurship. In an introduction to entrepreneurship class, we randomly assigned students to one of the three experimental conditions—students evaluated an executive summary for a venture either written by a woman, or a man, or one in which the gender was neutral (i.e., the control group). Students acted as if they were considering an investment and reported whether, for example, the executive summary was well written as well as how much equity they would want in the venture as a potential investor. Overall, these results provide evidence consistent with the inference that the students sampled in this study did not use gender as a decision-making heuristic when evaluating entrepreneurial opportunities. We discuss the results of our experiment and describe (a) how to replicate this activity, (b) how to discuss this in the classroom, and (c) how to adapt this activity to explore other types of bias (e.g., race, ethnicity, weight-based, etc.).
bias, entrepreneurship, funding, gender, venture
Michaelis, Timothy L.; Pollack, Jeffrey M.; Mulvey, Paul; Ritter, Beth M.; and Carr, Jon C., "Gender Bias and Venture Funding: Discussing Bias in the Entrepreneurship Classroom" (2020). NIU Bibliography. 238.
Department of Management