Research on minority entrepreneurship often proceeds by documenting discriminatory barriers impeding business creation and performance. Acquiring appropriate human capital, accessing financing, and exploiting market opportunities have been more challenging for minorities than for White business owners. Particularly regarding Black-owned firms, studies examining barriers impeding their viability invariably identify the presence of those barriers. Findings portray afflicted businesses suffering in ways manifested by their lower survival rates, firm size, employee numbers, and the like – firms shackled by blatantly racist practices. Inadequately addressed is the question of why these beaten-down firms have made such impressive progress in recent decades. The applicable constraints, in fact, have lessened.
Regarding the factors shaping entrepreneurial performance, economists focus heavily on persistent racial inequality while sociologists have stressed pathways to immigrant ethnic inclusion, i.e., group adaptation to life in America. Both paradigms have validity. Black, Latino, and Asian American business owners are diverse groups often impacted in differing ways by America’s evolving discriminatory barriers. The fact that most Asian and Latino owners are immigrants, some here illegally, presents complications. This monograph proceeds by probing the differing circumstances under which Black, Asian, and Latino owners run their firms and ways in which these differences shape their performance outcomes.
Minority Entrepreneurship 2.0 examines the unique challenges facing minorities pursuing entrepreneurial alternatives in very specific social, political, historical, and economic contexts, and these contexts differ from nation to nation. This monograph examines the different contexts in which Black and Asian owners have run their firms since the late 19th century. In sociological terms, the kinds of firms they owned and the way these owners operated their firms were heavily shaped by the differing contexts in which they were embedded. Key factors shaping MBEs in America differ substantially from the relevant contextual factors operative in England or France or Germany.