Minority entrepreneurship in twenty-first century America

Timothy Bates, William D. Bradford, Robert Seamans

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Prior to the 1970s, minority-owned small businesses were small in size and scope, and common in only a few industry niches. Business owners were severely capital-constrained, lacking in higher education, and training in skilled occupations. The median owner today, in contrast, is college educated, access to financing has expanded, and opportunities to serve corporate and public-sector clients are commonplace. Nearly 40% of all new firms created nationwide in 2015 were minority owned. Changing attitudes in mainstream society reduced traditional barriers. True equality of opportunity among small minority- and white-owned firms of similar size and scope has nonetheless not been achieved. This issue of Small Business Economics examines lingering barriers impeding the development of a more vibrant minority business community. Focusing on access to financing and government procurement markets, articles in this issue offer explicit analyses of enduring barriers, along with explanations of adoptive strategic firm behavior appropriate for reducing those barriers.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)415-427
Number of pages13
JournalSmall Business Economics
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1 2018


  • Discrimination in financial markets
  • Minority-owned firms
  • Overcoming discriminatory barriers
  • Racial discrimination

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Business, Management and Accounting
  • Economics and Econometrics


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