Whitman School of Management at Syracuse University
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Abstract Details

American Indian Entrepreneurs’ Perceptions of their Success in Establishing Businesses on or near Reservations in Wisconsin
Vol. Volume 21, Number 3 September/2016

Stephanie J. Erdmann
The purpose of this phenomenological study is to explore a sample of American Indian entrepreneurs’ perceptions of why and how they had become successful owners of businesses on or near reservations in Wisconsin. The results provide insight about how to encourage and support potential American Indian entrepreneurs to open more businesses on or near reservation lands to create viable economies. This explorative study used planned inquiry to gather qualitative data by conducting in-depth interviews and collecting supportive data through critical incidents. The participants in the study include seven current American Indian business owners. Based on the findings, analysis, and results of the research study, recommendations have been developed for tribal leaders, tribal educators, government agencies, and for further research. The conclusions to the research, which addressed the six themes and their findings, show that successful American Indian entrepreneurs (a) have been exposed to entrepreneurship and entrepreneurial ideals; (b) have an understanding of business concepts; (c) have been educated and have sought additional knowledge; (d) have participated in special programs with tribal preferences; (e) are risk-adverse to personal financial distress, and (f) have nurtured relationships between and among themselves and family as well as between and among their communities.

Keywords: Entrepreneurship, Indigenous, American Indian, Native American, Reservation