prefer business pitches from handsome men, U.S. study finds
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[March 11, 2014]
BOSTON (Reuters) — Investors are
more likely to put money into a business idea pitched by a man than a
woman, and even more so if the man is good looking, according to a new
The research, published on Monday in the Proceedings of the
National Academy of Sciences and authored by researchers from MIT,
Harvard and the Wharton School, reveals that a good idea and an
experienced presenter are not always enough to win the financial
backing required for a successful start-up.
"Our research (...) documents other critical criteria that investors
use to make these decisions: the gender and physical attractiveness
of the entrepreneurs themselves," it said.
The study examined several business pitches, both at real pitch
competitions in the United States and in a controlled experiment
setting, in which the content of the pitches was the same but the
presenters were different.
It found investors "prefer pitches presented by male entrepreneurs
compared with pitches made by female entrepreneurs, even when the
content of the pitch is the same."
It added that "attractive males were particularly persuasive,
whereas physical attractiveness did not matter among female
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The authors said the study was significant because of the important
role that entrepreneurship plays in U.S. economic growth and
prosperity and because the survival of a start-up depends heavily on
(Reporting by Richard Valdmanis; editing by Cynthia Osterman)
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