Ethnic minority graduate entrepreneurs in the UK: Characteristics, motivations and access to finance

Javed G. Hussain, Jonathan M. Scott, Cindy Millman, Paul D. Hannon, Harry Matlay

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    Abstract

    Small ethnic minority businesses make an important contribution to the UK economy, and this is reflected in their rapid growth over the last decade. A considerable proportion of the growth in new venture creation can be attributed to ethnic minority graduates, who increasingly embark on entrepreneurship as a rewarding and fulfilling alternative to paid employment. An illustrative case study approach is adopted for the purpose of this research study. The results of a qualitative investigation of four new venture creation case studies of graduate ethnic minority entrepreneurs in the UK indicate that the main contribution of higher education for these graduate entrepreneurs was in the area of knowledge and skills acquisition. The main motivational factors acknowledged by the respondents included ‘lack of satisfaction’ in working for others, the need to be their own ‘boss’ and achieve more, and the prospect of higher earnings. The authors found no correlation between degree discipline and graduates’ propensity to become entrepreneurs. Graduates from non-business disciplines appear to be more likely to engage in entrepreneurship. The size of start-up finance can have an impact on the survival and growth of new ventures. It is therefore suggested that financial institutions and government agencies should develop more focused services, aimed specifically at supporting ethnic minority graduate entrepreneurs in their drive to convert business ideas into thriving and employment-generating enterprises.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)455-463
    JournalIndustry and Higher Education
    Volume21
    Issue number6
    Publication statusPublished - 2007

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