Diana was a heroic woman, a huntress. Women seeking capital are hunters rather than gatherers. They are hunting for capital in a traditionally male-dominated arena.
The Diana Project was established in 1999 to raise awareness and expectations of women business owners regarding the growth of their firms. The growth of women's businesses is central to wealth creation, innovation and economic development in all countries. The creation of the research consortium involving the five project partners coincided with efforts of other groups around the world to support and advance the growth and development of women-owned businesses.
A core belief of Diana is that rigorous research provides a powerful base for influencing systems. Information and knowledge that come from solid data can have irrefutable effects on changing attitudes, opinions and practices.
Our research investigates the apparent disconnect between opportunities and resources in equity funding for high growth women-owned businesses. Funded by the Entrepreneurship and Small Business Research Institute (ESBRI), the Kauffman Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership, the U.S. Small Business Administration and the National Women's Business Council, the first phase of the project has two primary objectives:
- Supply Side. To educate equity capital providers about opportunities for enhanced portfolio diversification and new investment possibilities through investment in women-owned businesses.
- Demand Side. To raise awareness and expectations of women business owners for the growth of their firms, to educate women business owners about the characteristics of equity-funded businesses and to provide detailed information about how the equity funding process works.
The research has been organized into four phases:
1. Background Research
2. Demand Side - Women Seeking Financing
3. Supply-Side - The Venture Capital Industry
4. Diana International
A description of each phase can be found here.