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Title:Hustle City: Minority Entrepreneurship in North St. Louis
Author(s):Monahan, Joe
Contributor(s):Greenlee, Andrew
Subject(s):minority entrepreneurship
economic development
Geographic Coverage:North St. Louis, Missouri
Abstract:This project examines and amplifies the experiences of minority business owners in North St. Louis, an area of St. Louis that suffers from ongoing population loss, extreme segregation, and concentrated poverty. It analyzes demographic, employment, and firm data for the area to contextualize their entrepreneurship. It finds that although North St. Louis is a jobs desert, the number of Black-owned firms in the City of St. Louis is growing at a stunning rate. It then reviews relevant research on minority entrepreneurship and identifies key themes and gaps in the literature. It draws on interviews conducted with North St. Louis business owners and economic development practitioners to highlight key aspects of the entrepreneurial experience. These interviews reveal an experience in which lack of financial capital appears to be due to lack of trust as well as lack of access, business owners frequently open businesses with little planning and learn on the fly, and the challenges of daily survival crowd out opportunities for strategic thinking. Based on this analysis, it recommends that those looking to support entrepreneurship in North St. Louis emphasize a personal approach, support diverse entrepreneurial paths, and target entrepreneurs in the post-start-up plateau. It concludes by offering broader lessons for those considering interventions in low-income minority communities, and suggesting directions for further research.
Issue Date:2017
Series/Report:MUP Capstone
Date Available in IDEALS:2017-11-07

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