Date of Conferral



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


Business Administration


Marilyn Simon


Despite the high failure rate of African American small businesses in the United States, only 2% of the U.S. Small Business Administration loans in 2016 were awarded to African American business owners. Most small business owners cite lack of access to financial resources as an influential factor that leads to business failure. Grounded in resource-based view theory, the purpose of this multiple case study was to identify strategies African American small business owners in Los Angeles County, California use to obtain financial resources to achieve sustainability for at least 5 years. Data were collected from in-depth interviews with 4 purposively selected African American small business owners and supplemented with a review of internal reports and original business plans that outlined their financing strategy. The data analysis process entailed Yin's 5-step analysis to guide the coding of participants' responses to identify keywords, phrases, and concepts to develop theme clusters. Through thematic analysis, 4 themes emerged to include: financial resources improved business success and stability, internal financing, business mentors and networking to secure financial stability, and overcoming nonfinancial challenges. All participants noted access to financial resources as the most important resource needed for their business to succeed, particularly in the initial phase of launching their businesses. The implications for social change include the potential to enhance African American small business profitability and growth leading to new employment opportunities, improved community amenities, and business mentor programs with youth, which can encourage wealth for the surrounding community of Los Angeles County and local government.