Identify Potential Barriers and Opportunities for Latina Bi-Cultural Entrepreneurship in Iowa: A Case Study

Date
2017-01-01
Authors
Tan, Hui Siang
Niehm, Linda
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Abstract

Immigrant entrepreneurship has emerged as a growing U.S. business sector, especially Latina entrepreneurship, and similar trends have been noted in Iowa. Bi-cultural entrepreneurs (BCEs) are immigrant entrepreneurs who capitalize on marketplace opportunities related to their cultural background. The purpose of this study was to: 1) analyze perceived barriers and opportunities to business ownership for Latina BCEs selling apparel and textile related products in selected urban and rural communities of Iowa, and 2) gain insight into BCEs potential impact on community and economic development. Using a case study approach, semi-structured interviews were conducted with BCEs in three selected Iowa communities. Findings included: 1) Barriers: Language, lack of start-up capital, lack of business management knowledge, and 2) Opportunities: Growth of customer base, and culture retention. Understanding issues surrounding business start-up and sustainability for Latina entrepreneurs is vitally important to business consultants, community leaders, and apparel/retail BCEs for business and economic development.

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