New Animated Kauffman Sketchbook Video Illustrates Financing Challenges for Women-Owned Firms

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Kauffman unveils latest sketchbook video at We Own It Summit, a meeting aimed at increasing women’s participation in high-growth entrepreneurship

Women face greater challenges than men in getting financing for their companies, which is one of the reasons why this untapped population is not scaling businesses. The underlying causes for those challenges are spelled out in the latest Kauffman Foundation sketchbook video narrated by Alicia Robb, a Kauffman senior research fellow and one of the authors of A Rising Tide, a new book that delves into the topic of financing strategies of women-owned firms.

“You hear a lot about the number of women-owned businesses growing faster than firms overall, but that’s really just a reflection of the lower base,” Robb says in the video. “If you look at revenues or employment or payroll, [women-owned firms] are not growing faster than male-owned businesses; they are actually growing slower.”

The video debuted today at the We Own It Summit in New York before some 200 entrepreneurs, investors, academics, government and media representatives, and non-profit and industry leaders who gathered to create a roadmap for increasing women’s participation in high-growth entrepreneurship. In the video, Robb calls for finding ways to get more women into the networks that will open doors to capital.

“The data highlighted in this video tell the back story about what’s limiting women from building scalable firms,” said Lesa Mitchell, Kauffman vice president of Innovation and Networks. “We are at this Summit to write the future narrative for how to encourage women to overcome the barriers to high-growth markets. Our nation’s economic growth depends on it. That’s why we are calling this the Decade of the Woman Entrepreneur.”

Launched in 2009, the We Own It Summit is an alliance of more than 70 organizations from around the globe committed to increasing women's participation in high-growth entrepreneurship. The group’s goals for the next decade are to:

  •     Increase the number of women high-growth entrepreneurs;
  •     Increase likelihood of success of business at the growth stage;
  •     Increase the number of women investors; and
  •     Increase the number of women on boards.

About the Kauffman Foundation
The Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation is a private nonpartisan foundation that works to harness the power of entrepreneurship and innovation to grow economies and improve human welfare. Through its research and other initiatives, the Kauffman Foundation aims to open young people's eyes to the possibility of entrepreneurship, promote entrepreneurship education, raise awareness of entrepreneurship-friendly policies, and find alternative pathways for the commercialization of new knowledge and technologies. In addition, the Foundation focuses on initiatives in the Kansas City region to advance students’ math and science skills, and improve the educational achievement of urban students, including the Ewing Marion Kauffman School, a college preparatory charter school for middle and high school students. Founded by late entrepreneur and philanthropist Ewing Marion Kauffman, the Foundation is based in Kansas City, Mo. and has approximately $2 billion in assets. For more information, visit, and follow the Foundation on and

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Rose Levy

Barbara Pruitt
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