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GeoJournal

, Volume 61, Issue 3, pp 281–289 | Cite as

Minority women’s microenterprises in rural areas of the United States of America: African American, Hispanic American and Native American case studies

  • Helen Ruth Aspaas
Article

Abstract

Women in many rural areas of the US often engage in small-scale businesses as one of several avenues for contributing to household incomes. In those geographical areas that contain a significant minority population, many of the women's businesses display the cultural diversity of the regions in which they live. Likewise, women's roles as economic providers as well as wives and mothers are reflected in the manner in which they operate their businesses. Candida Brush suggests that women's strategies for operating their businesses are highly integrative because women's business decisions are intertwined with familial responsibilities, household economic demands and desires to contribute to their communities. Hispanic and Native American women in the Four Corners region of southwestern US and African American women in central Virginia participated in interviews in which they responded to numerous short answer and open-ended questions about their businesses and decision-making strategies. From these interviews an image emerges of rural minority business women who are operating their businesses at the nexus of family obligations, economic necessities, cultural ties and with a commitment for serving their communities.

African Americans Hispanic Americans integrative perspective Native Americans rural minority women small businesses 

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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  • Helen Ruth Aspaas
    • 1
  1. 1.Urban Studies and Geography Program, School of Government and Public AffairsVirginia Commonwealth UniversityRichmond

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