Do you want to speak at SOCAP23? The SOCAP Open Session Submission Period Is LIVE!

Submit Your Ideas Here by April 1!

Are Accelerators Accelerating the Gender Financing Gap?

Ben Wrobel May 27, 2021

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.



Meta Themes

  • Impact Investing


Gender Equity; Systems Change

Purpose and Desired Outcome

The conversation about the gender financing gap tends to be discussed in terms of vague promises and concerns; there is not enough tangible action that suggests what we can do about it. The takeaways that will be discussed in this event is based are based on solid research and include direct advice on how to mitigate bias among investors.


  • Accelerators & Incubators

  • Intermediaries (Financial Advisers, Investment Bankers)


  • NameAllie Burns
  • TitleCEO
  • OrganizationVillage Capital
  • StatusConfirmed
  • NameShruti Chandrasekhar
  • Title,Head of Startup Catalyst & SME Ventures
  • OrganizationIFC
  • StatusInvited
  • NameBill Sonneborn
  • TitleSenior Director, Disruptive Technologies and Funds
  • OrganizationIFC
  • StatusInvited
  • NameAmisha Miller
  • TitlePhD Candidate in Strategy and Innovation
  • OrganizationBoston University
  • StatusInvited
Join the SOCAP Newsletter!