The Diana International Research Institute will be the first global research institute in the world dedicated to being the source of all research, policy, and educator information about women’s entrepreneurship. By supporting and connecting a worldwide community of scholars, we will bring together the brightest minds conducting, translating and disseminating rigorous research about women’s entrepreneurship that can directly impact teaching, policy and practice.
Empowering women entrepreneurs will create jobs, increase incomes, lift thousands of households out of poverty, and lead to greater economic and social transformation. Even though 224 million women entrepreneurs run businesses around the world, there are only seven countries where men and women start businesses at an equal rate. Globally, women own about 30 percent of the businesses currently operating, but only employ around 6 percent of the workforce.
Imagine then, how women entrepreneurs could shift the economic trajectory of the world, if we better understood how to enable them to launch and grow successful ventures through research. Despite the significance and size of this potential impact, scholarly research including or focusing on women entrepreneurs comprises less than 10% of all academic studies. This means that most of what we know about entrepreneurship is based almost exclusively on research about men. We lack research that allows us to understand the differences between men and women in the ways they start, lead, or grow their ventures.
Without research and data, designing effective policies and programs for women entrepreneurs that will meet their needs is nearly impossible. To solve this problem, we propose the creation of The Diana International Research Institute, the first, and only, research institute in the world dedicated to studying women’s entrepreneurship. The Institute would comprise the following: