What effect (if any) does gender have on entrepreneurship or the performance of new business ventures? That's the question Erin Kepler and Scott Shane set out to answer in a report for the U.S. Small Business Administration, Are Male and Female Entrepreneurs Really That Different? [Direct link to PDF].
It's conclusion? While there are structural barriers to female entrepreneurship, "when other factors are controlled for, gender does not affect new venture performance. However, several factors—differing expectations, reasons for starting a business, motivations, opportunities sought and types of businesses—vary between the genders, and these result in differing outcomes. Such observations should be taken into account when comparing the outcomes of ventures across genders."