Men are 60% more likely to get funding than women, according to a recent study published by MIT, Harvard and Wharton universities.
And while some entrepreneurs openly chastise education — Guy Kawasaki once quipped that the value of an MBA to an entrepreneur is “probably about a negative $250,000” — there are signs that business school is increasingly powerful for female founders.
Women MBAs have raised about $9 billion in venture capital over a decade, according to new data published by PitchBook, for about 700 ventures.
Harvard Business School leads the table of top MBA programs for female entrepreneurs. Harvard has produced nearly 200 female founders, who set-up roughly 170 companies, which raised around $3.3 billion in VC.
These include Gilt, the online shopping business, which raised $270 million before it was acquired this year.
Stanford Graduate School of Business and Columbia Business School are in second and third places respectively, having produced a combined 165 women-founded start-ups, which banked $1.8 billion in investment.
What may help in securing VC backing is the network accrued at business school, according to Elsa Sze, a Harvard MBA who founded tech start-up Agora. She says: “Just having more support and mentorship and by just giving feedback, we can help each other out.”
Other benefits to a b-school education for women entrepreneurs are the solid grounding in management, the freedom to test an idea in a safe environment, and potential incubators and funding on campus.
Business schools are striving to boost both the number of women in their programs and the percentage who are founding start-up ventures.
Here are the top-20 pumping out VC-backed female founders: