Ethnic Minorities in Business

Posted: 24 Nov 2009

See all articles by Monder Ram

Monder Ram

De Montfort University - School of Business; University of Birmingham - Birmingham Business School

Trevor Jones

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Date Written: 1998


Examines minority firms in the United Kingdom with specific attention on entrepreneurial motivation, labor supply, market conditions, banking relationships, and business support agencies. Focus is on the Asian and African/Caribbean groups. The analysis shows that ethnic enterprise is not culturally predetermined. Rather, a combination of the opportunity structure and familial and community ties must be considered. With respect to the labor practices of ethnic entrepreneurs, it appears that there are many similarities across these groups. Family and community labor prove to be both a vital resource and a hindrance to the firms. Further, the role of females is not fully recognized in these firms. Many minority firms rely on the ethnic markets for initial business success, but the firms that wish to further their success must break into other markets, which proves to be difficult because of the management and social processes that are needed. Underfunding is identified as one of the largest obstacles that ethnic entrepreneurs face. The cause of this challenge is not obvious, with some holding that it is race related while other believe it to be related to the types of business that ethnic entrepreneurs own. Although there are many support services available to ethnic firms, the effectiveness of such programs must be increased. Suggestions for increasing the benefits include clarifying objectives, better defining strategy, and making networking opportunities available. This report highlights areas for future study in this area. (SRD)

Keywords: Family roles, Firm financing, Labor supply, Minorities, Business assistance programs, Entrepreneurial orientation, Family firms, Minority firms, Motivation, Ethnic & racial groups, Ethnic entrepreneurs, Family-work relations

Suggested Citation

Ram, Monder and Jones, Trevor, Ethnic Minorities in Business (1998). University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign's Academy for Entrepreneurial Leadership Historical Research Reference in Entrepreneurship, Available at SSRN:

Monder Ram (Contact Author)

De Montfort University - School of Business ( email )

Department of Corporate Strategy
Leicester LE1 9BH
United Kingdom
+44 116 255.1551 (Phone)
+44 116 251.7548 (Fax)

University of Birmingham - Birmingham Business School ( email )

Edgbaston Park Road
Birmingham, B15 2TY
United Kingdom

Trevor Jones

affiliation not provided to SSRN

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