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Comparing How Male and Female Entrepreneurs Are Described by Venture Capitalists


Research on government VCs in Sweden uncovered differences in how entrepreneurs were perceived depending on their gender. For the most part, the financiers rhetorically produced stereotypical images of women as having qualities opposite to those considered important to being an entrepreneur, with VCs questioning their credibility, trustworthiness, experience, and knowledge.


When venture capitalists (VCs) evaluate investment proposals, the language they use to describe the entrepreneurs who write them plays an important but often hidden role in shaping who is awarded funding and why. But it’s difficult to obtain VCs’ unvarnished comments, given that they are uttered behind closed doors.

One major thing stuck out: The language used to describe male and female entrepreneurs was radically different. And these differences have very real consequences for those seeking funding — and for society in general.


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