PhD Defense by Jessica Lynn Harbour Doyle

Event Details
  • Date/Time:
    • Wednesday October 24, 2018
      9:00 am - 11:00 am
  • Location: Architecture East Room 214
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Summary Sentence: What Metropolitan-Level Factors Affect Latino-Owned Business Performance?

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Under the provisions of the regulations for the degree




on Wednesday, October 24, 2018

9:00 AM–11:00 AM (Eastern Time)

in Architecture East Room 214


will be held the






Jessica Lynn Harbour Doyle

“What Metropolitan-Level Factors Affect Latino-Owned Business Performance?”


The Examiners Are:


Dr. Catherine L. Ross (Chair)

Dr. Cathy Yang Liu

Dr. Kaye Husbands Fealing

Dr. Alberto Fuentes

Dr. Nancey Green Leigh

Faculty and students are invited to attend this examination.




Since the mid-nineteenth century, immigrants to the United States have, to a larger degree than the larger population, tried their hand at starting their own businesses. While the Latinos who began entering the United States in greater numbers in the 1990s and 2000s do not self-employ as much as did immigrants from central and eastern Europe in the 1880s or immigrants from Korea in the 1970s, an estimated 1.54 million Latinos are self-employed in unincorporated businesses, while the 2012 national Survey of Business Owners counted 3.3 million Latino-owned firms, with a total of $474 million in annual sales or receipts. This entrepreneurship is all the more remarkable given that Latinos traditionally begin their businesses with lower levels of personal capital and have historically had more difficulty obtaining formal startup capital from third parties such as banks or government agencies.


It is relatively easy to summarize the problem at the national level. But what about at the metropolitan level? Are there some cities that provide a more hospitable environment for Latino entrepreneurship than others? Such a question has become more widely relevant in the last three decades, as shifts in immigrant settlement patterns has meant new immigrant growth, frequently Latino, in metropolitan areas with little or no history of significant foreign-born populations prior to 1990. While there exists a varied and detailed body of literature on immigrant entrepreneurship in the United States, much of that research was conducted on populations concentrated in urban areas. The post-1990 immigrant populations are not only more likely than their predecessors to settle in metropolitan areas outside the traditional “gateways,” but also more likely to settle in suburban areas. Different metropolitan areas offer different spatial and political landscapes for immigrant entrepreneurship, requiring a re-examination of how immigrants become entrepreneurs and what policy measures would be most useful in helping them establish successful, sustainable businesses.


This dissertation examines the question of what metropolitan-level factors affect Latino-owned business formation and performance. It finds that Latino entrepreneurs nationwide face persistent obstacles in the form of obtaining financing for both new and existing businesses, which can be addressed at the local level. However, certain concepts currently prominent in research about ethnic entrepreneurs, such as the makeup and geographic concentration of the “ethnic enclave” and the importance of prior history of immigrant settlement in the metropolitan area, may be less applicable to Latinos who come from a broader range of countries and settle in less dense metropolitan areas.

Additional Information

In Campus Calendar

Graduate Studies

Invited Audience
Public, Graduate students, Undergraduate students
Phd Defense
  • Created By: Tatianna Richardson
  • Workflow Status: Published
  • Created On: Oct 11, 2018 - 11:37am
  • Last Updated: Oct 11, 2018 - 11:37am