The pitfalls and perils of Kickstarter

Crowdfunding Study Shows Entrepreneurs Need to Try Try Again


When at first you don’t succeed, try and try again. There’s wisdom in that old adage that entrepreneurs—especially women—would be wise to follow.

Think of an entrepreneur and there’s a good chance a man’s name will come to mind. Some researchers wanted to find out why –in 2015 –men are far more likely to be entrepreneurs than women. Venkat Kuppuswamy from the University of North Carolina and Ethan Mollick from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, decided to tackle one aspect of becoming an entrepreneur.

They analyzed 90,000 entrepreneurial projects on the crowdfunding site Kickstarter. Specifically, they looked at how likely an entrepreneur was to start a second project when their first one didn’t succeed.

The study found that men were more likely to be overconfident than women. When a woman started a Kickstarter project and didn’t reach her fundraising goal, she was more likely not to try a second time, the researchers found.

The study discovered that a first-time crowdfunding failure is a strong indicator that a second attempt will also fail. Men, more than women, continued to pursue their fundraising efforts despite that first-time fail.

They tried again and again until, at some point, a project seemed to find its audience and reached its goal.

The researchers projected that if women were less humble, they would launch more projects on crowdfunding sites by an estimated 16 percent.

Social conditioning may be one reason why women are not taking more chances on second projects on crowdfunding sites when at first they don’t succeed. Other research has shown that women also fail to negotiate higher salaries compared to men because they fear being perceived as pushy.

The researchers concluded that women entrepreneurs should take a page from their male counterparts. They should be more confident and take more chances.

For more information on why women entrepreneurship lags behind men’s, visit the American Enterprise Institute.