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Two New Publications for Susan Coleman

Posted 12/03/2014
Category: Accolades

Barney School of Business Dean Marty Roth congratulates Susan Coleman, professor of finance, on two recent publications. One publication is a book chapter and the second is a Kauffman Foundation Research Report.

The book chapter is titled “Gender Differences in Innovation Among U.S. Entrepreneurs,” co-authored with Alicia Robb.  The chapter appears in Women’s Entrepreneurship in the 21st Century: An International Multi-Level Research Analysis, 2014, K.V. Lewis, C. Henry, E.J. Gatewood, and J. Watson (Eds.)  Cheltenham, UK: Edward Elgar.

Abstract: Multivariate analysis of data from a survey of U.S entrepreneurs allows us to gain insights into their propensity to engage in innovative types of activities.  Controlling for owner and firm characteristics such as owner age, educational level, firm age, firm size as measured by revenues, industry, and growth expectations, we find no significant gender differences in terms of 1) intellectual property protection, 2) knowing how to implement innovative ideas, or 3) needing additional support in the form of role models and educational programs.  Thus, our multivariate results indicate that women entrepreneurs are just as innovative and as capable of implementing innovations as men.  Our results suggest the need to broaden our definition of innovation to encompass the types of innovative activities that women engage in. Prior research suggests that our current narrow definition of innovation may have the effect of devaluing or ignoring the contributions of women and their firms (Ahl, 2006; Blake & Hanson, 2005; Sjogren & Lindberg, 2012).  These contributions include innovations in the service, retail, health care, and education industries (where women dominate) as well as process rather than product types of innovations. A broader definition of innovation would also recognize the industries and contexts that women are a part of (Brush et al., 2009). 

The report published by the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, Kansas City, Mo., is titled Sources of Economic Hope: Women’s Entrepreneurship (2014, November), co-authored with Alicia M. Robb and Diane Stangler.  

Report Summary: This report is based on data from a survey of high-tech women entrepreneurs conducted jointly by Stanford University, Duke University, and Women 2.0.  Survey results revealed three primary findings.  First, high-tech women entrepreneurs lack mentors and role models which may impede their tendency to engage in high-tech entrepreneurship.  Second, the entrepreneurs surveyed indicated that lessons learned from their failures were more valuable than lessons learned from their successes. Thus, women entrepreneurs may benefit from viewing setbacks as an inevitable part of the learning process rather than as a sign of personal failure.   Third, women entrepreneurs still experience a financing gap.  A high percentage of survey respondents (72.1%) cited financial capital as a critical challenge in launching their firms.  The article concludes with a discussion of the implications of these findings for public policy, education, and the development of an infrastructure for supporting high-tech women’s entrepreneurship.