The characteristics of successful entrepreneurs are often credited as male ones.

By Candida Brush (Contributor, Forbes)

I recently completed a webinar reporting the findings of our Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM) Women’s Report. This study compared women’s and men’s entrepreneurship in 59 economies around the world.

One of the key findings is that women tend to close their businesses because they have challenges in getting funding. We know from earlier research on women led ventures seeking equity capital that a tiny percentage of women actually receive VC (estimates are less than 6% of all US venture-funded businesses are women led).

Why is it that women have more difficulty in obtaining financing, growing and sustaining their businesses? One reason often missed has to do with perceptions about women entrepreneurs. In class, I often ask students to “name a successful entrepreneur” – it usually takes 6-10 shout outs before a woman is named. The tendency is to ascribe the characteristics of successful entrepreneurs as male.

We think of entrepreneurs as being heroic figures, who single handedly invent the idea of the business, take big risks, and aggressively grow their ventures to achieve economic wealth. This perception is mostly a myth. Research shows that entrepreneurs tend to take calculated risks, that they often don’t invent the technology (they buy, license or collaborate on it), that more successful businesses are founded by teams and that increasingly businesses are providing both social and economic wealth.

» Read the full article at Forbes.