In this study, we focus on how the stigma of failure in a region impacts the resource commitment levels (e.g. work effort, money invested), and persistence decisions (Gimeno et al., 1997) of small business owner-operators. We hypothesize that in locations with lower levels of stigma, owners should show higher levels of venture resource commitment and persistence rates. Additionally, we examine how the demographic characteristics of owner-operators, by shaping the extent to which they are impacted by social stigma (Kowalewski, 1988; Shepherd et al., 2009), might moderate these effects.