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Astia CEO Answers the Question: Why Entrepreneurs, Why Women

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By Sharon Vosmek (CEO, Astia)

I recently posted a response to an October 3 blog post by Mark Suster “Why Aren’t There More Female Entrepreneurs?”, and I thought my comments should be translated more broadly.

Below is a version of my post which is intended to clearly articulate the value proposition for:

  • Why [high-growth] entrepreneurship?
  • Why women [high-growth] entrepreneurs?

The simple answer to both — jobs and innovation.

A report prepared by the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation recently found that all net new jobs created in the US in the last 30 years have been created by high-growth start-ups less than 5 years old.

And further, research from Babson College found that if women high-growth entrepreneurs had the same access to capital as their male counterparts, we would see 6 million new jobs created within 5 years — 2 million of those within year one.

This is the jobs recovery we all seek.

Add to this the fact that we have women at the ready: women are nearly half the PhDs, more than half the college graduates and half the MBAs. It seems a logical missed-opportunity if women are not fully participating (for whatever the many reasons) in high-growth entrepreneurship.

It’s about jobs.

Regarding innovation, there is an abundant body of research that demonstrates that innovation and group intelligence are directly correlated to the number of women on the team. Scott Page, University of Michigan and IBM both published work proving this and are great examples to represent the body of evidence.

IBM’s findings were that group intelligence is directly correlated to three things:

  1. The group member’s ability to read each others expressions
  2. The evenness of the conversational participation
  3. The greater proportion of women

And further, the researchers postulate that numbers 1 and 3 are closely linked.

It’s about innovation.

This post was originally posted at Astia Notes.

Editor’s note: Got a question for our guest blogger? Leave a message in the comments below.

About the guest blogger: Sharon Vosmek is CEO of Astia.Under her leadership, the organization received a half a million dollar investment from the Kauffman Foundation, the largest foundation for entrepreneurship globally. Previously, Sharon founded SJ Vosmek & Associates and held management positions at American Express & in the office of US Senator DeConcini. Sharon holds a bachelor’s in political science from Arizona State University and a master’s in public policy and administration from the University of Wisconsin, Madison. Follow her on Twitter at @Vosmek.