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Theses Doctoral

Creating a Voice for Black Tech Entrepreneurs in Academic Literature

Chambers, Brittany Sachi

In a country where inventors and innovators are noted as being at liberty to enter and contribute to the free market space, conversely studies have found that Black tech entrepreneurs face greater difficulty launching and growing their businesses. A review of the literature suggests that many of these difficulties stem from the lingering effects of historical inequalities. These inequalities have existed for decades due to laws and regulations that once limited home ownership, income earning, credit access, inheritances, and educational opportunities. Additionally, literature in the tech arena has demonstrated a lack of diversity in the field. Pattern matching or preconceived standards have also been said to impact Black tech entrepreneurs’ opportunities to receive investments to launch and grow their businesses.
While great dialogue has taken place in the tech arena around these disparities, little is known in academic literature about how Black tech entrepreneurs engage in the process of creating innovative brands and marketing their companies. In light of this, the researcher conducted a qualitative case study designed to explore black tech entrepreneurs’ perceptions of how they learn to launch and grow their businesses. This study engaged participants who self-identified as tech entrepreneurs of Black or African descent who have launched apps, websites, or hybrid companies in the United States.
Among the key findings that emerged from the study were: An overwhelming majority of participants described that seeking the counsel of “expert” others was a key action in securing funding to grow their companies. Further, a strong majority of participants indicated that having a positive self-concept was a key facilitator in growing their businesses; while, an equal number indicated that a misalignment between the investor and entrepreneur inhibited their ability to grow.
The tech entrepreneurial field can evolve through the increased trying on of differing perspectives by both investors and entrepreneurs; the continued development of diversity tech ecosystems and support networks; and, sustained progress in increasing the investment opportunities for Black tech entrepreneurs.

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More About This Work

Academic Units
Organization and Leadership
Thesis Advisors
Volpe, Marie
Degree
Ed.D., Columbia University
Published Here
June 2, 2018
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