Racism: A barrier to entry? Experiences of small ethnic minority retail businesses

Mohammed Ishaq, Asifa Hussain, Geoff Whittam

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

32 Citations (Scopus)


The participation of ethnic minorities in self-employment has been a phenomenon of the British labour market for many decades. One area in which there has been a preponderance of ethnic minority groups, especially those of South Asian origin, has been the independent retail sector, where many set up what became commonly known as 'corner shops'. This sector has experienced radical change in the last decade, which has posed a real threat to the livelihood of business owners, leading to a decline in the number and profitability of shops. Many of those which have survived have to face one of society's social ills, racism. This study, based on semi-structured interviews, attempts to establish the degree of racial discrimination experienced by owners of small retail businesses in Glasgow, with a working hypothesis that racism in all its forms will not be conducive to encouraging potential entrepreneurs from ethnic minority backgrounds to establish new businesses, and hence racism is a barrier to entry.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)362-377
JournalInternational Small Business Journal
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2010


  • ethnicity
  • entrepreneurship
  • racial discrimination
  • retailing
  • self-employment
  • small business


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