Entrepreneur Factor Inputs and Small Business Longevity
This study analyzes nationwide samples of black and nonminority entrepreneurs who entered into small business ownership between 1976 and 1982. Econometric models are estimated that seek to differentiate traits of owners whose firms were still operating in late 1986 from those whose businesses had discontinued. Explanatory variables used to differentiate surviving firms from discontinuances include qualitative and quantitative measures of owner human capital, demographic traits, and owner financial capital inputs at the point of business startup. Certain characteristics typify the firms that are most likely to remain in business, irrespective of whether the owner is black or white: investment of substantial amounts of financial capital at the point of business startup; competing in the open marketplace, as opposed to catering to a minority clientele; high levels of owner educational attainment. The higher business discontinuance rates observed among blacks are rooted strongly in the lower financial capital inputs that typify the black firms at the point of startup.
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