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Kauffman Awards $500K Grant for More Women-Owned Startups

Conference table (Incase/Flickr)The Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation in Kansas City, Missouri announced today a $500,000 grant to Astia, a business accelerator in San Francisco, California that works with women-led startups, to encourage the formation of more high-growth entrepreneurial companies owned by women. The organizations note that data show women start more than 50 percent of all businesses, but their participation in high-growth startups remains extremely low.

An indication of the disparity between men and women in high-growth startups can be found in statistics on outside capital investment, a key source of support for early-stage technology and life science companies. In 2009, for example, less than 10 percent of venture capital, the primary source of capital for these types of startups, was invested in companies with a woman CEO or founder, according to Dow Jones Venture Source.

Funding from the Kauffman Foundation will be used to increase the reach of Astia’s Doing It Right program for entrepreneurs. Doing It Right offers six-days of panels and workshops conducted by entrepreneurs, investors, and industry experts, followed by two months of personalized advice from industry experts. Participant companies are then invited to join the Astia community for the full life of the company, during which time they can continue to access the expert advice and networks.

Currently Doing It Right is offered in Silicon Valley, New York, London and Bangalore. Applications are now being accepted for the Silicon Valley program that takes place 1 – 6 November 2010.

Photo: Incase/Flickr

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