Exploring the Connection: Ethnic Minority Businesses and the Family Enterprise

Posted: 24 Nov 2009

See all articles by Monder Ram

Monder Ram

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

Date Written: 2002


Although family processes play a significant role in minority businesses, this relationship requires qualification.Traditional notions of the ethnic minority family business have figured such businesses as a special form of social capital.The stereotypical minority family business is a tension-free, unified whole that is built on the concept of family as a cultural tradition. Recent research on African-Caribbean and South Asian enterprises in Britain, however, challenges the notion that the influence of the family is any greater in minority businesses than it is in "mainstream" businesses.The research suggests that the family conflicts supposedly intrinsic to the minority firm are actually part of a universal family business genre and that minority businesses make no more use of family labor than do their white counterparts.Further, Asians are less likely than white entrepreneurs to rely on family and friends for funds, while African-Caribbean entrepreneurs, who supposedly have no access to such capital, actually rely on it the most. Clearly, social capital is not the province of minority businesses.The family is more ethnically generalized than previous scholarship has suggested. (SAA)

Keywords: Caribbeans in the UK, Family as employees, Capital sources, South Asians in the UK, Family-work relations, Cultural differences, Employment policies, Ethnic & racial groups, Families, Family firms, Immigrants, Minority firms, Social capital, Firm financing

Suggested Citation

Ram, Monder, Exploring the Connection: Ethnic Minority Businesses and the Family Enterprise (2002). University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign's Academy for Entrepreneurial Leadership Historical Research Reference in Entrepreneurship, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1511506

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

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