Multiple disadvantage and black enterprise : aspects of African-Caribbean and South Asian small business
Numerous studies have been undertaken on a wide range of issues affecting racialised minorities and small businesses. This thesis has chosen to focus on a number of issues pertinent to the nature of ethnic minority owned small firms. Whilst the topic of finance has been researched in tandem with other factors, it has rarely received the attention devoted to it in this thesis. The thesis critically evaluates finance availability for black small enterprises owned by persons of South Asian and African-Caribbean origins. Semi-structured interviews have been conducted with business owners in fifteen locations in England. These interviews have been enriched by a smaller number of in-depth unstructured conversations. Apart from finance, other relatively under-researched aspects of black enterprise are also discussed in this investigation. The interplay of gender, ethnicity and small enterprise is explored in chapter four whilst chapter seven examines the nature of both African-Caribbean and South Asian businesses situated in contrasting market areas. Parallels are drawn between the experiences of allegedly entrepreneurial-minded groups such as the Koreans and African-Americans in the USA who are distinctly under-represented among the small business owning classes. The outcome of this investigation of African-Caribbean and South Asian small enterprises is an image of a group of owners who have a strong determination to succeed in their ventures, exemplified through such factors as their motivation and attendant vocational qualifications, whilst simultaneously attempting to overcome numerous obstacles. Some of these barriers are generic to small businesses per se, whilst others are more exclusively 'ethnic'. The whole thesis is encapsulated within socio-political debates around the plight of severely disadvantaged visible minorities and proposed self-help strategies mediated by the persistence of covert and blatant racism.