Gender and ethnicity in business consulting assistance: public policy implications.

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Dianne H.B. Welsh, Distinguished Professor of Entrepreneurship (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
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Abstract: Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to investigate the types of business consulting services most needed by small business owners and entrepreneurs and to examine the role that gender and ethnicity plays in the demand for specialized assistance. Design/methodology/approach – A survey was administered to small business owners and entrepreneurs to rate their interest in specialized consulting services. The consulting assistance was divided into strategic, operating and administrative categories based on the framework of Chrisman and Leslie. Findings – Overall, the type of consulting with the highest interest was in the area of operations assistance, followed by strategic assistance and administrative assistance. Although few differences were found between male and female respondents, there were significant differences in the needs of minority women. Research limitations/implications – This study demonstrates the need for further research on minority female small business owners and entrepreneurs. In particular, it suggests further investigation of services that could be made available to them. Social implications – The results indicate that programs designed to assist minority women might have the greatest potential impact. Specialized attention may be necessary to assist this demographic segment, particularly since prior research indicates that minorities often start with greater resource limitations. Public policies should continue to encourage progress by helping establish a new generation of minority entrepreneurs. Originality/value – The findings from this study provided current evidence of the specialized needs of minority entrepreneurs. It is important to distinguish the needs of entrepreneurs in today's marketplace, in order to develop the most effective and impactful small business assistance programs.

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 2013
Consulting services, Entrepreneurialism, Entrepreneurship, Ethnic minorities, Ethnicity, Gender, Public policy, small businesses, small to medium sized businesses

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