This paper contributes to our understanding of minority entrepreneurs in the US by showing that ethnicity alone should not be used to describe or categorize small business owners. We examine a sample of 508 entrepreneurs from three minority groups (African, Mexican, and Korean Americans) and a white group using cluster analysis to explore a categorization pattern that best describes the differences among these entrepreneurs. Our findings suggest that minority entrepreneurs are in fact a very heterogeneous group on a multitude of dimensions such as motivations for entry, satisfaction with the business, nature of problems experienced, and demographics of the business such as its size and gross income. Based on our findings, we recommend that educational and support programs targeting minority entrepreneurs should consider other variables rather than focusing on ethnicity alone.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
The Minority Business Research Group (MBRG), through two major research projects, conducted the 2003 and 2005 National Minority Business Owner Surveys (2003 and 2005 NMBOSs). The first project was the “2003 National Minority Business Owner Surveys, whites and African Americans (2003 NMBOSs),” which was funded by GreenPoint Financial Corporation and managed by Alvin N. Puryear, Edward G. Rogoff, Myung-Soo Lee, and Ramona K. Z. Heck at the Lawrence N. Field Center for Entrepreneurship, Baruch College.
The second project was the “2005 National Minority Business Owner Surveys, Korean Americans and Mexican Americans (2005 NMBOSs),” which was funded by the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation and also managed by Alvin N. Puryear, Edward G. Rogoff, Myung-Soo Lee, and Ramona K. Z. Heck at the Lawrence N. Field Center for Entrepreneurship, Baruch College. Interview questionnaires, originally developed by the Family Business Research Group (FBRG) relative to 1997/2000 National Family Business Surveys (1997/2000 NFBSs), were adapted as well as translated for “in-language” interviews.
- Cluster analysis
- Entrepreneurial motivation
- Minority entrepreneurs