More than one in five business owners in California, New York, New Jersey, Florida and Hawaiʻi are immigrants, yet little is known about differences between ethnic groups. So University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa Associate Professor of Family Resources Diane Masuo and Professor Lakshmi Malroutu, a California colleague, reviewed survey data from telephone interviews with 200 Korean American and 200 Mexican American business owners.
The Mexican American business owners were more likely to be based at home and have been in business longer. They tended to have more employees and higher average business income.
Korean American business owners were slightly more likely to report difficulties in assessing customer needs, pricing products or services, finding qualified personnel, dealing with government regulations and finding time for family responsibilities and activities.
Understanding the challenges business owners face during startup periods will help lenders and public agencies be more supportive of a sector responsible for much of the nation’s job creation and economic growth, Masuo says.