Confronting the Odds: African American Entrepreneurship in Cleveland, Ohio

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Kent State University Press, 2002 - Business & Economics - 202 pages
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An interest in the history of African American entrepreneurship has produced a number of studies of economic development on the national level, but very few have examined this growth at the local level. Against All Odds was written to bridge that gap. Bessie House Soremekun provides a historical analysis of black entrepreneurship in Cleveland, Ohio, from the early 1800s to the present day. Soremekun's statistical analysis of the factors that contributed to the success of African American businesses in Cleveland is supported by extensive research, and her policy recommendations about how entrepreneurship could be stimulated through public and private programs are thought provoking. In addition, examining historical and current trends of African American entrepreneurship, Soremekun presents brief biographies of several successful entrepreneurs, among them best-selling author George Fraser and internationally acclaimed architect Robert P. Madison. The book also documents the life histories of business owners who have had unsuccessful business experiences, compares black male and female business owners, and offers insights into why some businesses succeed while others fail. Against All
 

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Contents

African American Entrepreneurship at the National Level
1
The Historical Development of the African American Community in Cleveland and the BlackOwned Business Sector 17951895
12
Black Business Development in Cleveland 18951960
18
Black Economic and Political Development in the Contemporary Period 19602002
46
The Contemporary Condition of BlackOwned Businesses in Cleveland
68
The Continuum of Black Business Success Why Some Firms Succeed While Others Fail
81
Biographical Sketches of African American Entrepreneurs
93
Conclusions and Public Policy Recommendations
148
Methodology for Chapter 5
166
Research Design Methodology and Operationalization of Variables for Chapter 6
167
Notes
178
Selected Bibliography
190
Index
198
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About the author (2002)

Bessie House-Soremekun is the executive director and founder of the Minority Business Program and associate professor in the Department of Political Science at Kent State University.

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