There is a massive gender gap in emerging market entrepreneurship: only 11% of seed funding goes to female entrepreneurs. Many people agree that accelerators have a role to play in closing this gap – but our recent research shows that, in fact, accelerators seem to be playing an unintended role in growing it.
Research by IFC and the World Bank Group Gender Innovation Lab, in partnership with Village Capital and We-Fi, found that accelerators actually widen the gap in equity financing. Male-led startups increase the amount of equity they raise post-acceleration 2.6 times as much as female-led startups, and investor bias likely plays a role.
What can accelerators do to mitigate bias? Village Capital CEO Allie Burns will lead a conversation with researchers and practitioners to discuss our results as well as tangible methods that accelerators can take to mitigate gender bias.