Factors Affecting Self-Employment among Indian and Black Caribbean Men in Britain

Abstract

The central issue addressed in this paper is encapsulated in the fact that many Indians, but relatively few black Caribbeans, are self-employed in Britain. This paper suggests two factors: first, black Caribbeans were "ethnically disinclined" to enter business; second, they did not posses the attributes that were positively related to entering business. Using data from the 1991 Census, this paper pinpoints how much of the observed paucity of self-employed black males in Britain was use to ethnic disinclination and how much was due to attribute disadvantage. More generally, it points to the importance of harnessing attitudes to attributes for generating a high rate rate of entry into self-employment. In this context, the acquisition of "social" attributes that relate to family formation, and the welding of the family into a cohesive economic unit, are at least as important as those attributes, like education, which relate purely to the individual.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.

References

  1. Aldrich, H., J. Cater, T. Jones and D. McEvoy, 1983, 'From Periphery to Peripheral: The South Asian Petite Bourgeoisie in England', in I. Simpson and R. Simpson (eds.), Research in he Sociology of Work, vol 2, Greenwich CT: JAI Press.

    Google Scholar 

  2. Atkinson, J. and D. J. Storey, 1994, 'Small Firms and Employment', in J. Atkinson and D. J. Storey (eds.), Employment, The Small Firm and the Labour Market, London: Routledge.

    Google Scholar 

  3. Ballard, R. and V. S. Kalra, 1994, The Ethnic Dimensions of the 1991 Census, Manchester: The University of Manchester (Manchester Census Group).

    Google Scholar 

  4. Barrett, G. A., T. P. Jones and D. McEvoy, 1996, 'Ethnic Minority Business', Urban Studies 33, 783–809.

    Google Scholar 

  5. Bates, T. M., 1993, Banking on Black Enterprise: The Potential of Emerging Firms for Revitalizing Urban Economies, Washington, DC: Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies.

    Google Scholar 

  6. Bates, T. M., 1998, Race, Self-employment and Upward Mobility: an Illusive American Dream, Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press.

    Google Scholar 

  7. Berthoud, R., 1998, The Incomes of Ethnic Minorities, York: Joseph Rowntree Trust.

    Google Scholar 

  8. Blackaby, D.,S. Drinkwater, D. Leslie and P. Murphy, 1997, 'A Picture of Male and Female Unemployment Among Britain's Ethnic Minorities', Scottish Journal of Political Economy 44, 182–197.

    Google Scholar 

  9. Blackburn, R. A., 1994, 'Ethnic Minority Enterprise in Britain: Experience and Trends', paper presented at Conference on Ethnic Minority Firms, University of Central England.

  10. Vani K. Borooah and Mark Hart Boissevain, J., 1992, 'Les Entreprises Ethniques au Pays Bas', Revue Européene des Migrations Internationales 8, 97–106.

    Google Scholar 

  11. Borooah, V. K., 1999, 'How do Employees of Ethnic Origin Fare on the Occupational Ladder in Britain?', paper presented at the Royal Economic Society Annual Conference, Nottingham (March).

  12. Brown, C., 1984, Black and White Britain: the Third PSI Survey, London: Heinemann.

    Google Scholar 

  13. Burke, A. E., 1995, 'The Supply of Self-Employed and Employed Entrepreneurs', in A. E. Burke (ed.), Enterprise and the Irish Economy, Dublin: Oaktree Press.

    Google Scholar 

  14. Burrow, R., 1991, 'A Socio-Economic Anatomy of the British Petit Bourgeoise: a Multi-Variate Analysis', in R. Burrows, (ed.), Deciphering the Enterprise Culture, London: Routledge.

    Google Scholar 

  15. Campbell, M. and M. Daly, 1992, 'Self-Employment: into the 1990s', Employment Gazette (June), 269–292.

  16. Cashmore, E., 1991, 'Flying Business Class: Britain's New Ethnic Elite', New Community 17, 347–358.

    Google Scholar 

  17. Clark, P. and M. Rughani, 1983, 'Asian Entrepreneurs in Wholesaling and Manufacturing in Leicester', New Community 11, 23–33.

    Google Scholar 

  18. Curran, J., 1986, 'The Survival of the Petite Bourgeoisie: Production and Reproduction', in J. Curran, J. Stanworth and A. Watkins (eds.), The Survival of the Small Firm (Vol. 2), Aldershot: Gower.

  19. Evans, D. S. and B. Javanovic, 1989, 'An Estimated Model of Entrepreneurial Choice under Liquidity Constraints', Journal of Political Economy 97, 809–827.

    Google Scholar 

  20. Frazier, E. F., 1997, The Black Bourgeoise, New York: Free Press.

    Google Scholar 

  21. Hart, M. and G. Gudgin, 1994, 'Spatial Variations in New Firm Formation in the Republic of Ireland, 1980–90'. Regional Studies 29, 367–380.

    Google Scholar 

  22. Hart, M., R. T. Harrison and C. Gallagher, 1993, 'Enterprise Creation. Job Generation and Regional Policy in the U.K.', in R. T. Harrison and M. Hart (eds.), Spatial Policy in a Divided Nation, London: Jessica Kingsley Publishers.

    Google Scholar 

  23. Jargowsky, P. A., 1997, Poverty and Place: Ghettos, Barrios, and the American City, New York: The Russell Sage Foundation.

    Google Scholar 

  24. Jones, T., 1993, Britain's Ethnic Minorities, London: Policy Studies Institute.

    Google Scholar 

  25. Jones, T., D. McEvoy and G. Barrett, 1993, 'Labour Intensive Practices in the Ethnic Minority Firm', in J. Atkinson and D. Storey (eds.), Employment, the Small Firm and the Labour Market, London: Routledge.

    Google Scholar 

  26. Kazuka, M., 1980, 'Why So Few Black Businessmen?', Report of the Findings of the Hackney Ethnic Minority Business Project, London.

  27. Kraybill, D. B., S. M. Nolt and D. L. Hughes, 1995, Amish Enterprise: From Plow to Profits, Baltimore: Johns Hopkins Press.

    Google Scholar 

  28. Light, I., 1984, 'Immigrant and Etnic Enterprise in North America', Ethnic and Racial Studies 7 195–216.

    Google Scholar 

  29. Light, I., G. Sabagh, M. Bozorgmehr, M. and C. der Martitosin, 1994, 'Beyond the Ethnic Enclave Economy', Social Problems 41, 601–616.

    Google Scholar 

  30. Mason, C., 1991, 'Spatial Variations in Enterprise: the Geography of New Firm Formation', in R. Burrows (ed.), Deciphering the Enterprise Culture, London: Routledge.

    Google Scholar 

  31. Meager, N., 1989, Who are the Self-Employed?: Anglo-German Self-Employment project: Working Paper No.1, Brighton: IMS.

    Google Scholar 

  32. Meager, N., G. Court and J. Moralee, 1996, 'Self-Employment and the Distribution of Income', in J. Hills (ed.), New Inequalities, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

    Google Scholar 

  33. Modood, T., 1997, 'Employment', in T. Modood and R. Berthoud (eds.), Ethnic Minorities in Britain, London: Policy Studies Institute.

    Google Scholar 

  34. Modood, T. and R. Berthoud, 1997, Ethnic Minorities in Britain, London: Studies Institute.

    Google Scholar 

  35. Owen, D., 1996, 'Size, Structure and Growth of the Ethnic Minority Populations', in D. Coleman and J. Salt (eds.), Ethnicity in the 1991 Census.Volume 1: Demographic Characteristics of the Ethnic Minority Populations, London: HMSO.

    Google Scholar 

  36. Owen, D., 1997, 'Labour Force Participation Rates, Self-Employment and Unemployment', in V. Karn (ed.) Ethnicity in the 1991 Census, Volume 4: Employment, Education and Housing among the Ethnic Minority Populations of Britain, London: HMSO.

    Google Scholar 

  37. Patel, S., 1991, 'Patterns of Growth: Asian Retailing in Inner and Outer Areas of Birmingham', in S. Vertovec (ed.), Aspects of the South Asian Diaspora, Delhi: Oxford University Press.

    Google Scholar 

  38. Peach, C., 1996, 'Black Caribbeans: Class, Gender and Geography', in C. Peach (ed.), Eethnicity in the 1991 Census: the Ethnic Minority Populations of Great Britain, London: HMSO.

    Google Scholar 

  39. Ram, M. and T. Jones, 1998, Ethnic Minorities in Business, London: Policy Studies Institute.

    Google Scholar 

  40. Robson, M. T., 1998, 'The Rise in Self-Employment Amongst U.K. Males', Small Business Economics 10, 199–212.

    Google Scholar 

  41. Sen, A. K., 1993, 'Capability and Well-Being', in M. C. Nussbaum and A. K. Sen, The Quality of Life, Oxford: Clarendon Press.

    Google Scholar 

  42. Soar, S., 1991, 'Business Development Strategies', TECs and Ethnic Minorities Conference Report, Home Office Ethnic Minority Business Initiative, Coventry: University of Warwick.

  43. Soni, S., M. Tricker and R. Ward, 1987, Ethnic Minority Business in Leicester, Birmingham: Aston University.

    Google Scholar 

  44. Storey, D. J., 1994, Understanding the Small Business Sector London: Routledge.

    Google Scholar 

  45. Werbner, P., 1990, 'Renewing an Industrial Past: British-Pakistani Entrepreneurship in Manchester', Migration 8, 17–41.

    Google Scholar 

  46. Wilson, W.J., 1996, When Work Disappears: The World of the New Urban Poor, New York: Albert A. Knopf.

    Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Affiliations

Authors

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Borooah, V.K., Hart, M. Factors Affecting Self-Employment among Indian and Black Caribbean Men in Britain. Small Business Economics 13, 111–129 (1999). https://doi.org/10.1023/A:1008134627296

Download citation

Keywords

  • Welding
  • Harness
  • Industrial Organization
  • Central Issue
  • Black Male