The devastating economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic is amplifying existing inequalities, which may be felt for years to come. Entrepreneurship is no exception. Even before the pandemic, there was a stark gap between access to capital for female-led entrepreneurs and their male counterparts.
It’s only gotten worse in the past year. A recent analysis from Pitchbook found that in Q3 of 2020, venture funding for female founders hit its lowest quarterly total in three years, and figures demonstrate that female-led companies have been hit disproportionately hard compared to their male-led counterparts.
Can start-up accelerators – organizations that are set up to help entrepreneurs grow and raise funding – help close this gap? Recent research shows that, in fact, they seem to be playing an unintended role in growing it. There’s an urgent opportunity for accelerators to not only be aware of this impact, but to be more intentional about how they support female founders and reverse this trend.