Seeking New Insights and Potential Sources of New Entrepreneurial Growth: Minority Entrepreneurship

Conference Organizers and Special Issue Editors
Timothy Bates - Wayne State University
William Bradford - University of Washington
Alicia Robb - University of California, Berkeley and Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation
Robert Seamans - New York University


Deadline: September 30, 2015

The Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation is seeking research proposals that generate knowledge and expertise that can feed joint learning, innovative practices, and evidence-based policy-making for successful entrepreneurship and the financing of entrepreneurial ventures by minorities.

Our interest in minority entrepreneurship in the United States is driven by four related concerns:  1) successful entrepreneurship allows individuals to fulfill their potential to create value for themselves and others, 2) business ownership can reduce the racial disparity in economic well-being, 3) successful entrepreneurship can improve the overall economic status of the United States as it competes globally, and 4) minority entrepreneurship can lead to improved local economic development in lower income communities and communities that are disproportionately minority. These concerns have led to a large body of research on racial differences in entrepreneurship in the United States, but factors driving racial differences in entrepreneurship and entrepreneurial performance are still not well understood.

The Kauffman Foundation is pleased to announce a special set of two one-day workshops to bring together academic researchers conducting research on minority entrepreneurship. Selected researchers will be invited to San Francisco for a one-day workshop following the AEA meetings in January 2016. 

Airfare, some meals, and hotel accommodations will be provided to presenters. Authors will be invited to Anaheim, Calif. in August 2016 for a one-day conference to present nearly final papers immediately before or following the Academy of Management annual meetings.

Again, airfare, some meals, and hotel accommodations will be provided. At both workshops, senior scholars will take part to provide feedback and mentor new and emerging scholars. Authors of papers that are selected for a special issue for Small Business Economics and/or inclusion in an edited volume published by the Kauffman Foundation will be provided a research honorarium of $2,500. A $5,000 best paper prize will be awarded to the author(s) of one selected paper.

Topics of interest include, but are not limited to, the following

  • Challenges and barriers to high-growth entrepreneurship among minority entrepreneurs
  • Roles of entrepreneurial skills and knowledge on entrepreneurial choice and/or performance
  • Innovations in entrepreneurial finance and the potential to alleviate financing barriers for minority entrepreneurs
  • The importance of owner’s balanced skills (“jack of all trades”) versus deep skills in minority business entry and performance
  • The importance of teams in minority business entry and performance
  • Changes over time in the unexplained gap in bank lending to minority businesses
  • Equity financing and minority entrepreneurship
  • Degree of ethnic mix of clients among other ethnic minorities and the effect of those differences on firm performance
  • The benefits and effects of programs that increase diversity in government and private contracting
  • Research that investigates behavioral issues such as motivations, preferences, goals, and growth perceptions of the owners: What are their goals? How do they see themselves in five years or ten years? How do they perceive their business, and how do they think they are perceived by others (banks, their customers, their competitors, their investors, etc.)?

Scholars are encouraged to connect empirical phenomena to theory and to employ rigorous and replicable data and methods to test their ideas. Qualitative and quantitative papers as well as new theoretical contributions are welcome. In doing so, research can build a body of high-quality, cumulative research that extends our current knowledge.

We will evaluate the proposals according to the following criteria

  • Fits with the aim of the call
  • Creates actionable insights for policymakers and/or practitioners
  • Pushes the knowledge frontier forward
  • Offers generalizable lessons
  • Demonstrates methodological rigor

Submission Information

  • Authors should submit an electronic copy of their proposal (five single-spaced pages) to Alex Krause at akrause@kauffman.org by September 30, 2015.
  • There will be a one-day workshop for draft papers accepted for consideration on January 6,  2016 in San Francisco, following the American Economic Association meetings.
  • There will be a one-day workshop for revised papers accepted for consideration: August 2016, immediately prior to or following AOM.
  • A subset of papers may be organized as a panel(s) and submitted to AEA’s annual meeting in January 2017.
  • Publication of special issue: 2017.

Additional information

We will evaluate the proposals received, and authors will be notified of acceptance to the pre-conference by October 30, 2015. We may invite a selection of applicants for an interview before making a final decision. 

Possible Data Sources



[1] The census officially recognizes these racial categories: White American, Native American and Alaska Native, Asian American, African American, Native Hawaiian, and Other Pacific Islander. The United States Census Bureau also classifies Americans as "Hispanic or Latino" and "Not Hispanic or Latino", which identifies Hispanic and Latino Americans as a racially diverse ethnicity.  


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