Author ORCID Identifier

Date of Award

Spring 5-6-2022

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Business Administration (DBA)



First Advisor

Dr. Wesley J. Johnson (chair)

Second Advisor

Dr. Likobe M. Maruping

Third Advisor

Dr. Mandy Swygart-Hobaugh



How Does the Infrastructure and Support of Two Progressive Startup Communities Compare for African American Entrepreneurs and Small Businesses? A Comparative Study of Atlanta, Georgia and Charlotte, North Carolina

by Leroy Carson, Jr.

April 2022

Chair: Dr. Wesley J. Johnson

Major Academic Unit: Doctorate in Business Administration

This study provides unique insight into the impact of entrepreneurial ecosystems on African American small business owners and startups. I leveraged Resource Based Theory in conjunction with the OECD/EROSTAT Framework for Entrepreneurship Indicators to identify areas of greatest need across two sampled cities. Quantitative analysis was used to interpret and analyze interviews from a statistically sufficient sampling from Atlanta, Georgia and Charlotte, North Carolina. Qualitative analysis was used to interpret the input from entrepreneurship ecosystem interviewees who, collectively, have the greatest impact and influence on the resources allocated to this community. The quantitative analysis was substantiated by the qualitative analysis, allowing me to affix the appropriate assumptions to the findings from data gathered from both cities. This study offers some great insight into how to pair this theory and framework to examine efficiency and effectiveness within entrepreneurial ecosystems. Regarding the specific results of this study, it was determined that access to, and availability of, capital to a specific entrepreneurial ecosystem is a primary concern that needs to be resolved for the sustainability of x this community. Also, centralized mapping of the availability of these resources should be a priority to ensure maximum utilization through awareness of active and available resources.


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