African American community well-being: a reconsideration of the contributions of urban entrepreneurs

Karen Starks, Clark Atlanta University

Abstract

The purpose of this pilot effort was to conceptualize and examine the relationship of urban African American business to community well-being. African American entrepreneurs are seen as one aspect, albeit an often overlooked yet critical sector, of the urban African American community contributing to community welfare and social change. Two overarching methodologies were used in this study. The first general or organizing methodology included three sub-set approaches: (1) constructive typology, (2) grounded theory, and (3) historicism. The second organizing methodology is triangulation consisting of (1) participant observation, (2) survey, and (3) content analysis. African American entrepreneurs were typed into three groups: the emerging business owner, indigenous entrepreneur, and corporate purveyor. The findings indicate that historically, and in a contemporary sense, urban African American entrepreneurs have closely identified with local residents, organizations and institutions, and this relationship has contributed to the socioeconomic welfare of the urban community.