Defying Stereotypes: 10% Tipping Point for Women Angel Investors

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By Angie Chang (Co-Founder & Editor-in-Chief, Women 2.0) Researchers at the University of New Hampshire Center for Venture Research found that women angel investors gain strength in their numbers. They defy the stereotype of women as cautious investors -- stereotypes that are prevalent when women consist of less than 10% of an angel group.

“In the context of this research, this means that when there are few women in an angel group, the stereotype of cautious investing is accentuated. As the number of women increases, there is less of a stereotype -– there are more women so they are more recognized for their ability as investors and less because of their gender,” said Jeffrey Sohl, director of the UNH Center for Venture Research.

The research encourages forming women-dominated angel groups as a way to increase angel investment activity, and suggests that women angel investors' social capital is higher with members of their own gender.

Conclusion: Any increase in women-dominated angel groups will have potentially additional positive effects for both entrepreneurs and investors.

The study was published in the July issue of the journal “Entrepreneurship, Theory and Practice" using a sample of data from 183 angel investment groups from 2000 to 2006 collected by the Center for Venture Research, which holds the most complete database of angel groups in the United States.

About the writer: Angie Chang co-founded Women 2.0 in 2006 with Shaherose Charania. She currently serves as Editor-In-Chief of Women 2.0 and is working to mainstream women in entrepreneurship. Previously, Angie held roles in product management, web UI design, and entrepreneurship. In 2008, Angie launched Bay Area Girl Geek Dinners, asking that guys come as the "+1" for once. Angie holds a B.A. in English and Social Welfare from UC Berkeley. Follow her on Twitter at @thisgirlangie.