Georgia State’s Garima Sharma, Ph.D. recently won an ANDE-IDRC grant of $28,500 to study women-led ventures in Latin America and US. Sharma has received this grant in collaboration with Dr. Carla Bustamante, Universidad Adolfo Ibañez, Chile; Elizabeth Tracy, NC State Poole School of Management; and Dr. Jeffrey Pollack, NC State Poole School of Management.
This research project will focus on the language used in accelerator program’s advertising for applicants and the effect on women entrepreneur’s sense of belonging, sense of fit, and intention to apply. The researchers will be conducting a cross-country comparison of accelerator programs in US and Chile.
Women are roughly half as likely to become entrepreneurs as men. Increasing the participation rates of women in entrepreneurship is an area of inquiry where research-based insights are needed to foster change. Accelerators are important to building the next generation of entrepreneurs. Research evidence can initiate changes in accelerators and entrepreneurial ecosystems such that more women apply to accelerator programs and hence increase the number of successful women-led ventures.
One reason for low participation of women is that entrepreneurship is seen as a masculine concept. Masculine and feminine characteristics are often represented in language used. Language in accelerator call for applications can influence women entrepreneur’s participation rates. Words like independence, assertion, power indicate masculine traits while words such as community, inclusion and care are received by the audience as feminine. Prior research studies have tested and established a list of masculine and feminine words that the researchers will draw upon to explore whether language used in accelerators call for application influences female entrepreneurs’ sense of belonging, fit with the program, and their intention to apply.
The research grant is provided by The Aspen Network of Development Entrepreneurs (ANDE) and Canada`s International Development Research Centre (IDRC). The grant provides access to the GALI dataset, outcome of a collaboration between ANDE and Emory University. GALI dataset has data related to 169 accelerators out of which 41 are in the US and 35 in Latin America and the Caribbean. The grant also provides support to gather additional data beyond the GALI dataset.
If you are interested in knowing more, participating in the research project, or staying informed about the research outcomes, contact Garima Sharma: [email protected].