Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Institute on Family and Community Life

Committee Member

Dr. Susan Limber, Committee Chair

Committee Member

Dr. Martie Thompson

Committee Member

Dr. Arelis Moore de Peralta

Committee Member

Dr. Jim McDonell


The racial wealth divide persistently compromises America's full economic potential. Overwhelming research continues to demonstrate that support of Black entrepreneurship can significantly reduce the racial wealth gap, while simultaneously reducing Black unemployment. Although, there has been substantial research on minority entrepreneurship, there is less emphasis on the relationship between neighborhood factors and Black entrepreneurship. This study employed a cross-sectional correlation design to examine the relationships between socio-economic neighborhood characteristics and the density of certified Black businesses. This dissertation significantly contributes to the Black entrepreneurship literature in the American South by providing neighborhood-level analyses of key economic and social characteristics that foster Black business ownership, through a study of Atlanta's 101 Neighborhood Statistical Areas (NSAs). The study explores the role of jobs, educational attainment, financial security, housing, and safety in fostering certified Black businesses. The overall results of this study provided evidence that neighborhood characteristics significantly predicted the density of Black businesses proportionate to the Black population. In the final neighborhood regression model, five neighborhood characteristics (total jobs, median household income, auto-theft, and burglary) accounted for 45.7% of the overall variance in the density of Black businesses. The policy and practice recommendations focus on supporting community development, community wealth building and scaling investments in targeted neighborhoods.



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