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Prior to Emancipation, slave and free African Americans (AAs) started and ran successful businesses. Events of the last century, such as the Great Migration north and the modernization of the American industry, created traditionally lower AA participation in entrepreneurship, and much of the history of successful AA entrepreneurs has been lost. Only now is AA participation in entrepreneurship returning to previously high levels.

In this entry we review current literature on AA entrepreneurship and attempt to answer questions like “What is the history of AA entrepreneurship?” “What are the barriers?” “What interventions were attempted?” “What are the individual and collective AA success stories?” and “What is the future of AA entrepreneurship?”

Entrepreneurship, Entrepreneurs, and Black-Owned Businesses

Before discussing AA entrepreneurship, it is important to get a clear idea ...

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