A Founding Penalty

An audit study on gender, entrepreneurship, and future employment

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New research by Olenka Kacperczyk, Professor of Strategy and Entrepreneurship at London Business School, and Peter Younkin, Associate Professor of Management at Lundquist College of Business, University of Oregon, shows that ex-entrepreneurs often struggle to find regular employment.

'A Founding Penalty: Evidence from an Audit Study on Gender, Entrepreneurship, and Future Employment' acknowledges that there is both widespread interest in encouraging entrepreneurship and universal recognition that the vast majority of founders will fail, which raises an important unanswered question: what happens to ex-founders when they apply for jobs?

The research is discussed in an article in
The Times, ‘"Career cost" of entrepreneurship for those seeking re-employment’. The study found that male entrepreneurs in particular were significantly less likely than candidates with no entrepreneurial experience to be invited for a job interview.

Professor Kacperczyk said that HR managers at large companies saw male founders as too inflexible, independent-minded and unwilling to take orders. They also suspected that the founders would not want to stay long term.