What Happens to a Woman-Led Business After Startup?

Women entrepreneurs

The growth of a business isn’t all about the money.

Well, a lot of it is. But, the acceleration and success of a business after the startup phase requires much more than financing. And, unfortunately, there seem to be a lot more—often invisible—hurdles for women, says Babson College Assistant Professor Lakshmi Balachandra.

Understanding the impediments to growing a woman-led business is a key area of research, yet, according to a brand new research proposal by Babson College and Bank of America, less than 7 percent of all academic entrepreneurship articles focus on women.

Beyond Startup: New Research on Women Entrepreneurs

Announced by Babson and Bank of America at the first Diana International Impact Day, this new research project will focus on the challenges faced by women entrepreneurs whose businesses have surpassed $5 million in revenues.

“We’re looking at the women entrepreneurs who many would consider very successful—even those who have upward of $80 million in revenues,” added Balachandra, who is leading the project. “Our initial assumptions were that these women were ‘beyond the buck,’ if you will, but we’re already finding that this isn’t true. Capital and other business needs are an ongoing concern for any entrepreneur seeking growth, but are even more so for women.”

“We are pleased to continue our focus on women entrepreneurs and partner with Babson on this important research,” says Karen Reynolds Sharkey, national business owner strategy executive with Bank of America Private Bank.

With the findings, set for release in fall 2019, Babson and Bank of America hope to educate economic stakeholders, women founders, and the general public about the obstacles women entrepreneurs face in growing their businesses.

“As a whole, we don’t know much about the growth phase of entrepreneurship,” said Balachandra. “What happens to women beyond startup? I’m excited to find out, and to further support women who have already pushed through the nascent stages.”

Bank of America also supports the economic empowerment of women through programs like the Supplier Diversity Program where it spends nearly $2 billion each year with minority- and women-owned business partners. And, through the Tory Burch Foundation Capital Program, Bank of America has connected more than 2,500 women entrepreneurs in the United States to more than $46 million in affordable loans.

The perfect setting for this announcement, Impact Day was a first-of-its-kind event, held at Babson and convening investors, accelerators, policymakers, researchers, women entrepreneurs, and other disruptors collaboratively dedicated to changing the landscape of financing women entrepreneurs.

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Comments
  1. Very interested in reading this research once published. Also happy to support this wonderful initiative and cause as a proud, Babson alumna and Risk Management and Compliance professional at Capco.

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