Facilitating Minority and Female Entrepreneurship

There is an unnerving trend in entrepreneurship. In the U.S. Minorities and Women generally answer “yes” as often as White Men, when asked if they would some day like to own their own business. But they are sorely underrepresented in business ownership.

Blacks make up over 12% of the U.S. population; but Black-owned businesses account for less than 8% of U.S. businesses.

Hispanics account for over 15% of the U.S. population; yet only about 8% of U.S. businesses are owned by Hispanics.

Women make up slightly over 50% of the U.S. population; but Women-owned businesses make up less than 29% of U.S. businesses.

These data hold true even after several years of government initiatives at the federal, state, and local levels aimed at increasing entrepreneurship for the underrepresented.

My team of co-authors (Frances Fabian, Eric Kinnamon, and Peter Wright) and I studied several years of publications and developed a preliminary framework for partly addressing this disconnect through educational initiatives. Our article was recently published in the Journal of Business and Entrepreneurship (2012), and the gist of our framework is below.

Social components to entrepreneurship education that might lead to more business start-ups by the currently underrepresented include:

Access to same-sex and same-race role models,

Addressing both real and perceived barriers to entrepreneurship, &

Encouragement and guidance into entrepreneurship.

Of course, starting a business is one thing, managing that business to thrive is another.

Technical components to entrepreneurship education that may increase the life-span and performance of businesses owned by the underrepresented include:

Providing a knowledge base of economic systems,

Providing a comfort level with economic systems, &

Training in writing a business plan.

We believe (and there is much research evidence to suggest) that including these six components in an entrepreneurship education program will lead to more, and better performing, start-ups by underrepresented groups in the United States.

Our framework is preliminary. I hope you will provide your thoughts, input, comments, contributions from experience, etc.


Dr. Phil

Copyright © Dr. Phil Bryant, 2012

Dr. Bryant is an Assistant Professor of Management at Columbus State University and co-author of Managing Employee Turnover.



Filed under Management Musings

4 responses to “Facilitating Minority and Female Entrepreneurship

  1. Samaria Roberson

    This article provided me with great insight into my future and also gave me some key tips in success. I look forward to the day that I can call a business my own, especially possessing the inevitable traits of being a minority and being a woman, and plan to continue to lead myself and those around me away from the stigmas. I have dabbled in entrepreneurship within the extracurricular organizations that I have become a part of and developed myself.
    Many times I find myself in a state of panic about my future, but I then realize that with a strong will and stronger effort, I will be able to accomplish any task. This has been proven countless times and has just been reaffirmed through the content of this article. I fully comply with the six components listed. My favorite being Encouragement and training in writing a business plan. Both of these stand out greatly because it is something that drives me to continue to push forward. Inspiring Article.!!

  2. Ariel Andrews

    This was a very good article that I could directly relate to because I have had the pleasure of being a part of several personal businesses. My family loves to start a new business almost every other year in my opinion but because of certain barriers( which are for a fact not perceived) they were not able to keep that business above water.
    To some seeing their family fall short in almost every business that they attempt to open could be discouraging but for me it was even more motivation that I needed. I agree that the six components that you listed are extremely important and they are some of the components that I have been working on for my entire life.
    By taking these six components and adding a little more of my own personal beliefs in the mix I believe that one day I will be a very successful business owner. Very insightful post.

  3. Thanks for the “likes”, ladies.

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