Minority Women Entrepreneurs: How Outsider Status Can Lead to Better Business Practices

Minority Women Entrepreneurs: How Outsider Status Can Lead to Better Business Practices

by Mary Godwyn, Donna Stoddard


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Minority women start new businesses in the U.S. at four times the rate of non-minority men and women. Though minority women entrepreneurs in the United States are thriving, their stories are very seldom told, and few think of minority women as successful entrepreneurs. Minority Women Entrepreneurs gives voice and visibility to this group of business owners.
The second purpose of this book is to explain what makes these women different from the standard white, male business owners with whom most people are familiar. Through in-depth interviews and firsthand accounts from minority women entrepreneurs, the authors found that minority women use their outsider status to develop socially conscious business practices that support their communities in innovative and exciting ways. They reject the idea that business values are separate from personal values, and instead balance profits with social good and environmental sustainability. This pattern is repeated in statistical evidence from around the globe: women contribute a much higher percentage of their earnings to social good than do men. But, until now, there was no clear explanation of why. Using sociological and psychological theories, the authors explain the tendency for women, especially minority women, to create socially responsible businesses. The findings in this book suggest fresh solutions to economic inequality and humanistic alternatives to exploitative business policies. Herein lays a radically new, socially integrated model that can be used by businesses everywhere.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780804774789
Publisher: Stanford University Press
Publication date: 02/23/2011
Pages: 224
Product dimensions: 6.10(w) x 9.10(h) x 0.50(d)

About the Author

Mary Godwyn is Assistant Professor of Sociology at Babson College. Donna Stoddard is Associate Professor and Chair of the Technology, Operations, and Information Management Division at Babson College.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments viii

The 12 entrepreneurs ix

Introduction: challenging the elegant theories of economics 1

Part 1 19

1 The unique position of minority women entrepreneurs 20

2 Sociological explanations for inequality 41

3 Challenging and changing inequality 78

4 Where did business-as-usual come from? 94

Part 2 119

5 Minority women as business innovators 120

6 Minority women in partnership with producers, vendors, and customers 138

7 Minority women entrepreneurs as community members 149

Part 3 171

8 Minority women entrepreneurs: challenges and opportunities 172

References 188

Appendix. Themes in Women's entrepreneurship as a basis for qualitative interview analysis 198

Index 208

About the authors 214

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