Business Plan Contests: Where Are the Women?

Women often go missing from the 100-plus entrepreneurial competitions held annually in the U.S., where winners take home prizes ranging from cash and trophies to contacts that can lead to opportunities.  While no formal statistics are kept, several people connected with business plan and entrepreneurship competitions say women represent at most 20 percent of entrants. That’s even though they launch 40 percent of all private companies, according to the Kauffman Foundation, which promotes entrepreneurship.  Experts in entrepreneurship—both women and men—say a lack of confidence and bluster, an aversion to risk, and a continued scarcity of women in engineering programs may explain the shortage.

What do you think?  What is the best way to get more women involved in business plan competitions?

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