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Crowdlending platforms are becoming an increasingly prominent alternative funding channel for marginalized entrepreneurs to traditional financing. We examine whether the gender bias generally seen in conventional funding channels extends to the funding of female-led ventures in online platforms and how this potential bias affects service businesses. Our analysis of the KIVA crowdlending platform suggests that while online crowdlending platforms exert a democratizing influence on the funding of female entrepreneurial ventures, female-led service businesses were less able to get financing, mainly for larger loan amounts and longer loan terms. Our findings have significant implications for female entrepreneurs working for marginalized/social causes.

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This is an author-produced, peer-reviewed version of this article. The final, definitive version of this document can be found online at Service Business, published by Sprinter Nature Ltd. Copyright restrictions may apply.

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