Black and minority ethnic graduate entrepreneurs: motivations, characteristics and access to finance

Javed Hussain, Paul Hannon, Cindy Millman

    Research output: Preprint or Working paperWorking paper


    This paper draws upon four case studies to examine characteristics, entrepreneurial motivations and access to finance of black and minority ethnic (BME) graduates in the UK. We find that BME graduates starting a business are motivated by a desire to “do better”, and rely heavily on personal savings and family sources for start-up capital. In addition: • There is no conclusive evidence that suggests in this study that BME graduates entered entrepreneurship because of unemployment; with the exception of a few, all had jobs prior to entering self employment. • “Glass ceilings” were often cited by participants of the case studies as a kind of barrier, but there was reluctance to specify exactly what that meant. • Also, lack of satisfaction from working for others is considered to be a strong motivator for entering self-employment but other reasons, to be one’s own boss and the prospect of higher earnings, are also strong motivators. There is, therefore, a need for support agencies and universities to recognise the distinctive nature of BME graduate enterprise in order to provide effective solutions for different groups. This might include a) work experience, b) advice on an adequate capital structure at start up, c) adequate funding and training, and d) appropriate training for all graduates in basic business education.
    Original languageEnglish
    Place of PublicationBirmingham
    PublisherAston University
    ISBN (Print)9781854496942
    Publication statusPublished - Feb 2007

    Bibliographical note

    entrepreneurship, graduates, black and minority ethnic, characteristics, motivations, finance


    • RP0708


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