Women Are More Successful at Crowdfunding

Women reach their crowdfunding targets more than half the time. 
Women Are More Successful at Crowdfunding

WOMEN HAVE HIGHER success rates at crowdfunding scientific projects than men, according to new research by Henry Sauermann of ESMT Berlin in Germany, Chiara Franzoni of the School of Management at Politecnico di Milano in Italy, and Kourosh Shafi of the University of Florida in Gainesville. Their study suggests that the “crowd” providing the funding might apply different decision-making criteria than traditional funding agencies.

The researchers analyzed data from more than 700 campaigns on Experiment.com, a platform dedicated to crowdfunding scientific research. They found that women obtained more funding than men, even though most campaign creators on the site were male. Women reached their funding target 57 percent of time, while men only did so 43 percent of the time.

“Women’s significantly higher success rates in crowdfunding contrasts with their sometimes lower odds when competing with men for grants from government agencies,” says Sauermann. “Through crowdfunding, access to resources is broadened for groups that have been excluded or disadvantaged in traditional funding systems.”

The study also suggests that students and junior scientists were more likely to receive crowdfunding support than senior scientists. This could mean that crowdfunding could be an important tool for less conventional projects, such as those that are entrepreneurial, artistic, and social in nature.

Crowdfunding “can provide important monetary benefits,” notes Sauermann. “A number of universities actively encourage their researchers to start crowdfunding campaigns for this very reason.”

Read “Crowdfunding scientificresearch: Descriptive insights andcorrelates of funding success,” published January 4, 2019, in PLOS ONE.