Abstract

Minority entrepreneurs face unique challenges beginning and managing their ventures. The blocked mobility thesis proposes that the lack of minority success in the mainstream economy can be explained to a large degree by racial discrimination and socio-cultural barriers that they face in the mainstream society (Teixeira, 2001). For example, compared with non-minority entrepreneurs, minority entrepreneurs often operate in low-income business sectors due to prejudices imposed on them and their lack of sufficient human capital (Bates & Robb, 2014). As a consequence, minority owned businesses are constrained in choosing where to locate, are smaller in size, less profitable and more likely to fail compared to those owned and run by non-minority entrepreneurs (Bates, 1989). While evidence suggests that minority ventures are less likely to succeed than non-minority ventures, little empirical research has examined venture-specific factors that differentiate minority and non-minority entrepreneurs.

We hypothesize that minority and non-minority entrepreneurs seek and gain help from different sources. We further hypothesize that the entrepreneur’s ability to adapt to and remain flexible in the dynamic business environment is impacted by their access to needed resources when help-seeking. We also examine the differences between minority and non-minority entrepreneurs and their general behavior when seeking help.

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