TitleHow does agency workforce diversity influence Federal R&D funding of minority and women technology entrepreneurs? An analysis of the SBIR and STTR programs, 2001–2011
Publication TypeJournal Articles
Year of Publication2017
AuthorsJoshi, A, Inouye, TM, Robinson, JA
JournalSmall Business Economics
Pagination499-519 (Winner of the Best Paper Prize for the Special Issue on Minority Entrepreneurship)
Date Published2017
KeywordsDoctoral Program, MBA, Strategy & Entrepreneurship

U.S. Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs provide Federal research and development (R&D) grants to technology ventures. We explore how grantor demographic diversity explains why demographically diverse grantees experience different odds for successfully transitioning from initial to follow-on R&D grants. We empirically analyze 52,126 Phase I SBIR/STTR awards granted by 11 Federal agencies (2001-2011). We find a positive association between agency workforce diversity and Phase II funding for Phase I grantees, but minority and women technology entrepreneurs are less likely to receive this funding than their non-minority and male counterparts. Agencies valuing workforce ethnic diversity or leveraging gender homophily positively influence the likelihood of women technology entrepreneurs obtaining Phase II funding. We discuss evidence-based implications for policy and practice.