A fresh start and the learning experience of ethnic minority enterpreneurs

Ekanem, Ignatius U. and Wyer, Peter (2007) A fresh start and the learning experience of ethnic minority enterpreneurs. International Journal of Consumer Studies, 31 (2). pp. 144-151. ISSN 1470-6431

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Abstract

This paper focuses on ethnic minority entrepreneurs whose businesses failed within the first 3 years of trading, but were starting afresh with the help of the Brent Business Venture Fresh Start in Business programme. The paper aims to identify why the entrepreneurs had previously failed; what prompted them to start again; what was different about their business approach and practices second time around; and how key lessons had been learned as a result of their previous experiences that can improve their prospects for success in the future. The resultant insight derives out of an evaluation study of the Fresh Start programme, the methodology for which included initial telephone interviews with 20 ethnic minority entrepreneurs spread across eight business sectors, during which profile data were collected. The second phase of the study involved in-depth face-to-face and semi-structured interviews with the 20 entrepreneurs. The main findings suggest that failed entrepreneurs learn from their mistakes and actions embedded in the development processes and activities underpinning their first business venture attempt and are more successful second time around. The key learning processes and activities include learning from customer feedback, from interface with suppliers, from interaction with peers and from the fostering and facilitating inputs of provision such as the Fresh Start programme. The ability to learn by doing, problem-solving and opportunity-taking is important. The study concludes by highlighting key identified management capabilities which can improve the likelihood of new venture success, and in particular the value of giving future focus to the nature and form of effective strategic learning processes and activities that successful owner managers undertake and how these could be nurtured as part of the would-be entrepreneurs''management capabilities tool box'.

Item Type:Article
Research Areas:Middlesex University Schools and Centres > Business School > International Management and Innovation
ID Code:605
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Deposited On:02 Dec 2008 12:52
Last Modified:14 Oct 2014 16:03

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