Affirmative Action and Black Entrepreneurship

By Thomas D. Boston | Go to book overview
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Understanding the entrepreneur

The traits and activities of entrepreneurs have been studied for more than two hundred years. Individuals such as Richard Cantillion (c.1730), Jean-Baptiste Say (c.1810), Karl Marx (c.1867), Alfred Marshall (c.1890), Joseph Schumpeter (c.1910) and in recent times Harvey Leibenstein (c.1970) have all contributed significantly to this body of knowledge. Today, research on entrepreneurship is growing in popularity in several academic areas of study including psychology, economics, management, sociology and anthropology. The traits identified as most common to entrepreneurs are risk-bearing behavior, the coordination of productive resources, introduction of innovation and creativity, and the provision of capital. Oliver Clay ton argues that entrepreneurs must:

Be aggressive, be competitive, be goal-oriented, be egocentric, make decisions, be an achiever very earlier in life, be a loner in your final decision, put family and friends second to business, be an opportunist, do not be security-oriented, be persistent, have determination, be an optimist (to an extreme), have desire to achieve, be hyperactive mentally, be a dreamer, be a calculated risk-taker, want power, learn from previous mistakes, be a perfectionist and be intuitive. 1

In a study of 217 minority entrepreneurs, Hirsch and Brush identified the factors that provide the greatest motivation for minorities to enter entrepreneurship. In order of importance they are: achievement, opportunity, job satisfaction, independence, money, economic necessity, career security, power, and status. Similarly, the factors that create the biggest barriers in business


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Affirmative Action and Black Entrepreneurship


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