Startup Talk: Report finds minorities underrepresented in promise of entrepreneurship, startup activity

by Talk Business & Politics staff (staff2@talkbusiness.net) 8 views 

Editor’s note: Each Thursday, Talk Business & Politics provides “Startup Talk,” a round-up of startup, technology and entrepreneurial news.

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MINORITIES UNDERREPRESENTED IN PROMISE OF ENTREPRENEURSHIP, STARTUP ACTIVITY
As the U.S. becomes a more racially diverse country, a continued disparity in entrepreneurship among people of color portends further inequality and slow economic growth. Closing this gap requires an understanding of the unique challenges that confront entrepreneurs of color and a commitment from the private and public sectors to broaden entrepreneurial opportunity, says a new report released on Dec. 5 (Monday) by the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation.

Startup activity is on the rise, but entrepreneurs of color remain underrepresented and have disparate experiences. For example, businesses started by people of color perform differently than white-owned businesses. White-owned firms had double ($2.38 million) the average sales of Asian ($1.19 million), Hispanic ($1.12 million), and black-owned ($0.91 million) businesses. In addition, black- and Hispanic-owned businesses have higher failure rates than do white- and Asian-owned firms. Reasons include industry differences, with black-owned businesses being overrepresented in less-successful industries (for example, in the personal services industry), as well as entrepreneurs of color starting their businesses with less capital than their white counterparts.

IBERIABANK INVESTS $1 MILLION IN STARTUP FUND OPERATED BY ARKANSAS REGIONAL INNOVATION HUB
IberiaBank has invested $1 million in a college startup fund and training program created and operated by the Arkansas Regional Innovation Hub in Little Rock. The Hub’s I-Fund recently completed its first 12-week training program, working with proof-of-concept-stage companies started by college students, with a demo day on Dec. 3 at the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville. Eight student companies were chosen to be the first I-Fund group. Schools initially participating in the partnership are the University of Arkansas at Little Rock, the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, Arkansas State University and the University of Arkansas. Read more here.

OBAMA ADMINISTRATION COMMISSION RELEASES NEW NATIONAL CYBERSECURITY REPORT AND RECOMMENDATIONS
The U.S. Commission on Enhancing National Cybersecurity has completed a 90-page report providing detailed short-term and long-term recommendations to strengthen cybersecurity in both the public and private sectors, while protecting privacy, fostering innovation and ensuring economic and national security.

In February 2016, President Obama established the Commission by executive order to develop their recommendations by seeking input from technical and policy experts, reviewing existing literature and soliciting input from the public through open hearings and a request for information.

The report emphasizes the need for partnerships between the public and private sectors, as well as international engagement. It also discusses the role consumers must play in enhancing our digital security. The report categorizes its recommendations within six overarching imperatives focused on infrastructure, investment, consumer education, workforce capabilities, government operations and requirements for a fair and open global digital economy.

The 12-person Commission, with representatives from industry, academia, and former government officials, was chaired by the president’s former national security adviser, Tom Donilon. To view the report, click here.

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