Value of an Incubator for African American Micro-Entrepreneurs in Establishing Social Networks for Business Success
This case study analyzed how 15 African American micro-entrepreneurs in a low-income community located in the Northeastern part of the United States perceive the assistance they received from a micro-business incubator in establishing social networks that are important to business success. The incubator helped these micro-entrepreneurs establish key local relationships via (1) introductions (e.g., banker, community leaders, bonding agent), (2) networking events (allowing micro-entrepreneurs to meet each other and members of the community), and (3) training which provided skills (e.g., certification process, business plan preparation) needed to build start-up business relationships. However, the incubator was less effective in helping establish the relationships needed to transition from micro-enterprises to larger businesses. As outsiders, African American micro-entrepreneurs must establish relationships with key influencers who will enable them to compete for larger customers.
Presented by: Deeawn Roundtree, South University