Date of Conferral
Doctor of Business Administration (D.B.A.)
Entrepreneurship represents a means of increasing personal freedom and designing an attendant lifestyle. The purpose of this multiple case study was to explore strategies sole proprietors used to sustain their small business operations beyond five years and attain profitability levels necessary for freedom and autonomy. Data collection involved semi-structured interviews of 10 entrepreneurs who answered open-ended interview questions, granted access to archival documents, and direct observation of their business operations. The conceptual framework was emancipation theory addressing personal freedom through business autonomy. With the modified van Kaam method, the identification of emerging themes involved identifying groupings, clusters, and unrelated antecedents all of which yielded such themes as customer service, personal control, and creativity. The customer service theme was prevalent throughout the interview. The personal control theme arose from participants' perceptions of emancipation, business autonomy, and personal freedom. The creativity theme appeared through the comments of all participants; each participant alluded to the power of creativity and vision. Determination mattered to all the participants. The participants harped on the need for inward strength necessary to overcome all obstacles. Results from this study may contribute to social change assisting sole proprietors in strategies to grow their businesses to profitability, attain personal freedom, and contribute to community economic development which in turn would extend to benefits a stable economy across the community for a safe and progressive society.