Date of Conferral



Doctor of Business Administration (D.B.A.)




Patricia Fusch


African Americans are among the fastest growing entrepreneurial minority group in the United States, but they continue to struggle with sustaining these new business ventures. Evidence suggests that African American business entrepreneurs experience an increased failure rate with a 4-year business survival rate of 39%. Reducing the failure rate would significantly add to the U.S. economy (an estimated $2.5 trillion) and create nearly 12 million more jobs. The purpose of this single case study was to explore the strategies and behaviors of an award-winning African American entrepreneur in Miami Dade County who has remained in business over 20 years. The conceptual framework for this study was entrepreneurship theory. The data were collected through a semistructured interview with the participant, a review of published news media data, and a review of financial and marketing documents. Member checking was completed with the participant to strengthen credibility and trustworthiness of interpretations. The findings revealed several qualities about this entrepreneur, including innovativeness, internal locus of control, and self-efficacy attributed to business success. The participant also leveraged education and family networks as social capital to reach firm sustainability, as well as bootstrapping to mitigate the lack of financial capital. The information learned from these findings may contribute to social change by providing insight into the necessary strategies and behaviors required by African American entrepreneurs to stay in business beyond 4 years.