Abstract

Research shows a variety of factors including individual motivations, aspirations, firm resource availability and strategy influence venture growth (Delmar, et al, 2003; Davidsson & Wiklund, 2000). Studies sample by region, industry, size, age or sex, but few examine minority-owned ventures from the inner city. Furthermore, the revitalization of economies is of great research interest, but less often focuses on the role that individual entrepreneurs or their ventures play in these efforts. Instead research examines either populations of entrepreneurs, or transformation of city environments, less often connecting the population to the place. This gap leaves little or no insight into growth of inner city and minority enterprises. Our ability to identify compare inner city ventures to those outside the inner city, or owned by non-minorities is important for fostering growth entrepreneurship leading economically and socially stronger inner cities (Porter, 1995). We pose three questions- Who are the inner-city entrepreneurs? How do inner city- entrepreneurs organize and grow their ventures? What are connections between inner-city entrepreneurs and their communities?

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