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Why aren't there more minority entrepreneurs? - 8 Feb 2023

The House of Innovation and the Swedish House of Finance welcomed Professor David T. Robinson who presented research on minority entrepreneurs.

Paper title and abstract

Why Aren’t there More Minority Entrepreneurs?

Abstract: We explore the titular question of this paper by examining racial and gender differences in the intention to start a business as well as the steps taken along the path to starting a business.  Black and Hispanic people are more likely to consider starting businesses; however, conditional on considering a business, they are much less likely to launch the business.  While the results are stronger among lower-income households, direct measures of access to capital do not explain this action gap.  Black respondents, unlike Hispanic or female respondents, are less likely to discuss their ideas with friends or peers with relevant expertise.  Racial differences in new business formation vanish when we control for these (presumably low-cost) network channels.  These results have important implications for policies aimed at boosting entrepreneurship in under-represented communities.

(Joint work with Victor Bennett.)


About David T. Robinson

David T. Robinson is The James and Gail Vander Weide Professor of Finance Fuqua School of Business at Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business and a Erling Persson, Visiting Professor at SSE, Department of Entrepreneurship, Innovation and Technology.

He is an internationally recognized expert in the fields of private equity, venture capital and entrepreneurial finance. His work has appeared in leading academic journals in finance and economics and has been featured in the New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Financial Times, and The Economist. 

Professor Robinson is a scientific advisor to the Swedish House of Finance in Stockholm, Sweden, the Private Equity Research Council, the Private Capital Research Institute, as well as a number of private equity firms and technology startups.  He is the former Vice Chair of the World Economic Forum’s Global Agenda Council on Private Capital.

He earned his PhD and MBA degrees at the University of Chicago, a Master of Science from the London School of Economics,  a Bachelor of Arts from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and an honorary doctorate from the Stockholm School of Economics. Prior to joining Duke University he was a Professor of Finance and Economics at Columbia University.


This seminar represented an integrative and important part of the House of Innovation's strategy to build a research environment through engagement with prominent guests and their work.




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