Playing to Win or Playing Not to Lose? Black and Latinx Risk-Taking in the Entrepreneurial and Innovation Ecosystem

33 Pages Posted: 18 Nov 2021

Date Written: October 19, 2021

Abstract

As the U.S. continues to become increasingly diverse and multiracial, understanding levers for full participation of the Black and Latinx community as consumers, workers, creators, and leaders will determine the nation’s future economic standing. There are significant gaps in the broad participation in the innovation economy among Black and Latinx founders, investors, and early joiners of startups. One under explored hypothesis is the relationship between culture and risk. This paper seeks to answer whether cultural risk perceptions support or hinder participation in the innovation economy. Through in-depth interviews with 28 Black and Latinx individuals, risk-assessment and decision-making processes are uncovered leading up to and actively participating in entrepreneurship and innovation. Ultimately, Black and Latinx founders, investors, and early joiners are uniquely poised to dream big and go big in the innovation ecosystem. Their cultural dispositions and backgrounds do not pose insurmountable challenges but instead serve as powerful context shaping experiences and provide a diverse frame of reference that is in greater demand than ever before.

Keywords: risk, entrepreneurship, innovation, tech, Black, Latinx

JEL Classification: J15, M13, G11,

Suggested Citation

Orozco, Marlene, Playing to Win or Playing Not to Lose? Black and Latinx Risk-Taking in the Entrepreneurial and Innovation Ecosystem (October 19, 2021). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3950895 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3950895

Marlene Orozco (Contact Author)

Stanford University ( email )

Stanford, CA 94305
United States

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