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African-American Entrepreneurship In a comparative light there seems to be significant problems or obstacles for African-American entrepreneurs These problems are categorized by environmental factors opportunity factors and issues related to capital The purpose of this paper is to provide sociological and economical insight to the plight of African-American entrepreneurs There is an effort to trace the development of African-American entrepreneurship throughout American history in the post-reconstruction era to the present in relationship to social conditions of discrimination Uniquely African-American entrepreneurs are involved in the affirmation of a paradox of American ideology African-American entrepreneurs in pursuit of the American dream have been taught to stress individual success where what is needed is communal solidarity to foster access to the things that they have been categorically denied A high concentration of African-American entrepreneurs are focused in the service economy Although these jobs provide viable services and profit for many individuals they are not high profit occupations This accounts for an African-American presence in entrepreneurship without a high market share The reasoning for this can partially explained by the Great Migration a period lasting from 1900-1930 in which millions of African-Americans migrated from the South to Northern cities1 Upon arrival in the North African-Americans faced entrepreneurial opportunity and already established European communities With the arrival of these masses of African-Americans came radical changes in the moderate status of race relations in the North In Cleveland the influx of African Americans prompted white fears over residential encroachment and occupational competition resulting in a sharp rise in racial tensions and an increase in institutional discrimination2 This cause a transformation of the services that already existing African-American entrepreneurs were providing The newly racialized environment now regulated African-American businesses to serving only African-Americans A practical example of this assertion is found in an examination of the occupation of undertaking Undertaking was perhaps the most exclusive protected market available to African-American entrepreneurs in the early twentieth century3
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