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Unearthing black entrepreneurship in the Caribbean: exploring the culture and MSE sectors

Boxill, Ian

Ian O'Brian Boxill

Equal Opportunities International




Barriers ; Black people ; Business ; Business ownership ; Categories ; Central America/Caribbean ; Culture ; Entertainment ; Entrepreneurs ; Entrepreneurship ; Failure ; Financial services ; Innovations ; Minority owned businesses ; Strength ; Studies ; Success


This exploratory paper argues that there is a need to rethink the issue of black entrepreneurship in the Caribbean. It contends that part of the problem with many of the discussions on black entrepreneurship in the Caribbean is that they have tended to focus on traditional areas of entrepreneurship. This means that other categories of business - the knowledge, culture entertainment sectors and micro and small enterprises - are often ignored in these discussions. Yet, these are areas in which Afro-Caribbean people have, historically, established cultural spaces. Therefore, it is being suggested that there is a need to understand the strengths and weaknesses of entrepreneurial activity in these areas, and account for the reasons why black entrepreneurs have not, in larger numbers, expanded beyond their traditional cultural spaces. To do so, there is a need to enter the world of the black entrepreneur and to discover that world. It is necessary to understand his her definition of that world, and then see how s he perceives opportunities and barriers to entrepreneurial success. In general, this paper calls for both a methodological and theoretical shift to the way in which the study of black entrepreneurship in the Caribbean is conducted.



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