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Maria Lugo

DBA Graduate - 2016

Thesis title

Resilience in Minority and Women Entrepreneurs: Differences by Ethnicity and Gender


Lois Shelton

Maria is currently associate professor of business administration at Bridgewater College in Virginia. Prior to work at Bridgewater College, Maria worked as assistant professor of management at Inter American University in Puerto Rico. Her teaching experience includes six years as lecturer at Les Roches  International School of Hotel Management and five years as lecturer at University Center Cesar Ritz, both in Switzerland. She received her DBA in management from GEM in 2016.

Resilience in Minority and Women Entrepreneurs: Differences by Ethnicity and GenderAbstract Purpose This study investigates differences in resilience by ethnicity and gender across entrepreneurs by developing and empirically testing a model of resilience informed by the education (Garcia Coll et al., 1996) and psychology (Luthar, 2006) literatures. Risk factors faced by women and minorities due to social stratification interact with protective factors arising from unique cultural experiences result in resilience that is qualitatively and quantitatively different from that of White males.Design/methodology/approach By testing this model over a nationally representative sample of US entrepreneurs (N=340), this research shows how social and individual resilience competences vary across different demographic and ethnic groups.Findings Statistics results from two-way Anovas with Scheffe post hoc, Kurskal-Wallis with paired samples, and Hierarchical regression analyses, showed that there is a gender and age effect for self-resilience and an ethnic effect for social-resilience. Minority women, particularly African American women, presented higher resilience than any other group in the study. Surprisingly, Hispanic women were less resilient than White women.Research limitations/implications The development of resilience occurs over time, but in the case of this study, data was collected at a single point in time, thus the study can establish association but not causality. Second, the risk of common method variance is present due to the fact that the independent and dependent variables collected by the survey were completed by a single individual.Practical implications One key recommendation is that based on the results, resilience skills training should be included in minority and women’s entrepreneurial training across the US.Social implications A model for the development of resilience in minority entrepreneurs provides a new opportunity for the understanding of resilience and underpinning processes that are experienced by minority groups in the Unites States, specifically in African American and Hispanic entrepreneurs, thus helping entrepreneurs in pursuing entrepreneurship as a careerOriginality/value This study makes a contribution to the fields of Psychology and Entrepreneurship by demonstrating that resilience varies among gender and age groups.Keywords Minority entrepreneurs, Women entrepreneurs, Resilience.