Minority entrepreneurship and economic disparities: Revisited from a development perspective

Project Summary:

Innovation and entrepreneurship have long been strengths of the U.S. economy. But the experiences of entrepreneurs vary dramatically. In particular, race, ethnicity, and gender may play a significant role in shaping these experiences. This project will look at the differences among businesses owned by individuals of different racial and ethnic groups, as well as women-owned businesses. The researchers will look at business survival, business size, profits, and innovation activities. They will also seek to understand how these variations interact with and are influenced by the regional characteristics in which the businesses operate. Understanding the underlying factors that influence successful entrepreneurism is key for boosting innovation and future economic growth.


Qingfang Wang is an associate professor of public policy at the University of California, Riverside. Her research area lies broadly in immigration, the labor market, and development. With a Ph.D. in geography, Wang is particularly interested in how place—as both work site and residential location—interacts with race, immigration status, and gender in shaping labor market experiences and social-economic well-being. Her work has been funded by the Kauffman Foundation, the National Science Foundation, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, and other agencies. Her recent work includes research on immigrant, ethnic, and female entrepreneurship, and transnational migration of the highly skilled, especially in the higher education sector.