Minorities in Entrepreneurship

Minorities in Entrepreneurship

An International Review

Glenice J. Wood, Marilyn J. Davidson and Sandra L. Fielden

Although there is an expanding body of literature on the characteristics, aspirations, motivations, challenges and barriers of mainstream entrepreneurs, relatively little is known about whether these findings can be applied to the entrepreneurial activities of minority groups. This book addresses this short-fall and presents an international review of the characteristics, motivations and obstacles of eight minority groups: younger; older; women; ethnic; immigrant; lesbian, gay and bisexual; disabled; and indigenous entrepreneurs.

Chapter 5: Ethnic Minority Entrepreneurs

Glenice J. Wood, Marilyn J. Davidson and Sandra L. Fielden

Subjects: business and management, diversity and management, entrepreneurship, gender and management, international business, organisational behaviour


[O]ne of the most challenging aspects of research on ethnic minority owned businesses has been the lack of existing data needed to define the size and attributes of the sector. (The National Panel of Employment, 2005, p. 51) INTRODUCTION In recent years, there has been a significant shift in the orientation of ethnic groups towards business ownership and the business expertise among ethnic minority entrepreneurs has grown substantially (Bates, 2006). Consequently, ethnic minority businesses (EMBs) have been the focus of growing interest from a variety of sources over recent years and this has produced considerable debate and controversy with regard to the scale of their activities and policy needs of these businesses (Department of Trade and Industry, 2007). In contrast to immigrant entrepreneurs reviewed in Chapter 6 who are defined as new settlers in their adopted country of residence, this chapter concentrates on ethnic minority entrepreneurs who were born in their country of residence, although they may retain strong links to their country and culture of origin. Comparatively little is known about the characteristics of ethnic minority entrepreneurs, what motivates them and what barriers they face. In the US and UK, EMBs have grown at a rate three times faster than other businesses (Bates, 2006), representing approximately 7 per cent of the total business numbers, a figure expected to continue to rise due to the expectation that the ethnic minority population will double over the next 25 years (Ethnic Minority Business Forum [EMBF], 2001). According to figures compiled by...

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