Date of Conferral



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


Business Administration


Tim Truitt


According to the U.S. Small Business Administration, African Americans are the fastest growing entrepreneurial minority group in the United States. However, they suffer the highest business failure rates. The research design for this study was a multiple case study to explore the strategies small business owners used to succeed in business beyond 5 years. The conceptual framework for this study was the systems theory. The population was small business owners in the Dallas-Fort Worth metropolis, Texas. Data collection sources included semistructured interviews, company documents, company websites, and site visit observations. The data analysis process included data cleaning, uploading transcribed interviews into qualitative data analysis software, organizing and coding, and conducting methodological triangulation against company documents. The thematic analysis led to the identification of 6 major themes contributing to company sustainability. The predominate themes included entrepreneur qualities, adequacy or lack of collateral, financial planning, and market qualities. The consensus among participants denoted that in a business environment characterized by market differentiation, effective financial planning and unique entrepreneurial characteristics contributed to company sustainability. The findings revealed several features of the successful business owners such as education, professional background, motivation, creativity, negotiation skills, networking, risk-taking, and self-efficacy were critical for company sustainability. The positive social change includes increasing the rate of small business success, supporting the U.S. economy, and improving financial security for African American entrepreneurs, their families, employees, and the community.