Black Americans are twice as likely as white Americans to try to start a business, according to a study by Dr. Philipp Koellinger of the German Institute for Economic Research and Babson College and Economics and Entrepreneurship Professor Maria Minniti.
The full article, "Not For Lack Of Trying: American Entrepreneurship In Black And White," also found that black Americans tend to exhibit more optimistic perceptions of their business environment than other racial groups. However, black entrepreneurs are more likely than white entrepreneurs to fail in the early stages of the entrepreneurial process.
The findings are based on a sample obtained from the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor survey conducted in the United States during the summer of 2002. GEM is led by Babson College and London Business School.
According to U.S. Bureau of the Census 1993 figures, approximately 11.6 per cent of white workers are self-employed but only 3.8 per cent of black workers are self-employed.
The research suggests that such a lack of participation in business ownership among blacks is not due to a lack of entrepreneurial propensity.
"Just the opposite," said Prof. Minniti. "We find that black Americans tend to exhibit more optimistic perceptions of their business environment than other racial groups.
"Thus, our results suggest that the under-representation of black Americans among established entrepreneurs is not due to lack of trying but may instead be due to stronger barriers to entry and higher failure rates."