StartOut, a nonprofit dedicated to fostering LGBT entrepreneurship, has released a research report detailing the findings from a 2016 study – the first of its kind – that looks at the experiences of LGBT founders of high-growth companies. The study surveyed 140 LGBT entrepreneurs, and used additional data from 100,000 founders, both straight and LGBT. StartOut also conducted several in-depth interviews.
The study’s most important findings include the tendency for LGBT entrepreneurs to move businesses away from LGBT-unfriendly states in favor of states like California and New York. This trend has lost LGBT-unfriendly states a total of over 1 million jobs. The report also found that over a third of LGBT founders chose not to come out to investors, despite evidence pointing to a preference among investors for a more personal relationship, with one investor interviewee comparing it to “a mini-marriage.”
The report also indicate that LBT women had a significant disadvantage in funding when compared to GBT men – to the same degree as non-LGBT founders – and that this disparity in fact trumps the difficulty of being an LGBT entrepreneur as compared to straight.