Small Biz Matters

Welcome to Small Biz Matters, where IBJ discusses issues of interest to small-business owners and entrepreneurs. I'm your host, Associate Editor Andrea Davis.

Small Business

Where are the wildly successful women entrepreneurs?

April 6, 2011
KEYWORDS Small Business

If you like mysteries, try your hand at solving this one: Why are the vast majority of the most successful local entrepreneurial companies owned and run by men, not women?

Take IBJ’s list of fastest-growing companies, for example. We’re collecting information for the list that will appear in June, but here’s a breakdown from last year’s list of the top 25 companies: Only six of the 45 individuals who were owners were women. Ironically, the top two companies, CSCI Consulting and Phoenix Data Corp., were owned by women—Michele Meyer and Carol Curran, respectively.

Then think beyond the fastest-growing to wildly successful startups like Aprimo, Angel Learning and Suros Surgical Systems. All sold for tens or even hundreds of millions of dollars. Can you name a local company in that league owned or even piloted by a woman?

The point of the question isn’t to somehow suggest women aren’t capable, but rather to look for reasons behind the chasm.

Is Indianapolis a men’s club? Are women funneling their energies into other goals? Something else?

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