Entrepreneurs of color in Wisconsin: Bridging the gap in resources to mobilize potential

Despite their substantial contribution to economies, little is known about how entrepreneurs of color in rural areas leverage resources to start ventures. Diana and coworker Joseph Malual (University of Illinois-Extension) have published an article in the journal Community Development to explore this in more detail. Based on interviews in Fond du Lac County with 35 entrepreneurs, the article examines their experiences securing information and financial capital at startup. Results indicate entrepreneurs face barriers to accessing financing, information, and facilitating business networks. While they reported positive views of the community, they are mostly excluded from business organizations and heavily rely on family, friends, Hammer & Malual, 2020 and their own ability to find information and funding. This research provides important insights for policymakers and practitioners in rural areas hoping to develop vibrant inclusive economies.


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