It’s commonplace to think that a person’s sexual orientation is a private matter and irrelevant in business. After Apple CEO Tim Cook came out as a gay man, a substantial portion of social media comments, tweets, and shares asked, “Why would he do this?” which seems to imply that, first, no one should care, and second, people don’t want to know Cook’s orientation. But conventional wisdom is wrong. Research suggests that, for LGBT entrepreneurs at least, and perhaps others in their orbit, being “out” is relevant in many ways.
Matt Skallerud's insight:
There have been only a handful of articles, conference and research papers, and chapters written about lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) entrepreneurs. In 2005, Syracuse University’s Minet Schindehutte and two coauthors published the largest study ever undertaken until that point of LGB entrepreneurs in the United States. Their data set included responses from more than 300 LGB founding business owners and clearly established that LGB entrepreneurs, when starting their companies, face greater obstacles than their straight counterparts. Being LGB adversely affected their ability to engage suppliers, obtain licenses, market their businesses, hire employees, and access loans from commercial banks.
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