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Barriers to ethnic minority and women’s enterprise : existing evidence, policy tensions and unsettled questions

Carter, Sara and Mwaura, Samuel and Ram, Monder and Trehan, Kiran and Jones, Trevor (2015) Barriers to ethnic minority and women’s enterprise : existing evidence, policy tensions and unsettled questions. International Small Business Journal, 33 (1). pp. 49-69. ISSN 0266-2426

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    There are longstanding policy concerns that ethnic minorities and women have relatively lower enterprise participation rates and performance levels. This paper presents an overarching review of the evidence that currently exists with regard to enterprise diversity. It discusses the context of ethnic minorities and women in enterprise, and summarises research evidence relating to their relative access to finance, market selection and management skills respectively. Policy within the field of diversity and enterprise is characterised by a number of tensions and unresolved questions including the presence of perceived or actual discrimination, the quantity and quality of ethnic minority and women-led businesses, potential market failure in the support provided to diverse enterprises, and the substantive uniqueness of ethnic minority and women-led enterprises. Particular implications for policy and practice as well as directions for future research are discussed.