How do we foster a more inclusive and equitable business environment?
Entrepreneurship is a critical driver of economic growth and development, and its impact on society cannot be overstated. However, the availability of financial services to minority groups is a significant challenge that needs to be addressed, as highlighted in various official reports, such as the Workforce and Business Report. This challenge, combined with the fact that people from different backgrounds have different approaches to entrepreneurship and innovation, underscores the need for research on the impact of diversity on entrepreneurship.
Financial inclusion and literacy are critical to entrepreneurial success
At the heart of this issue is the issue of financial inclusion, which is critical to the success of entrepreneurship, particularly for those from minority backgrounds. My PhD research at the School of Finance and Management, SOAS, focused on the impact of gender on financial inclusion and financial literacy. Through my research, I was able to uncover significant disparities in financial inclusion between men and women, particularly in terms of access to financial services and products, financial knowledge, and confidence in using financial products.
The insights from my research and the broader literature underline the importance of understanding the business obstacles faced by minority groups, particularly in accessing financial services. Research in this area can pave the way for future projects that address the needs of minority groups, improving access to capital and funding, as well as enhancing financial literacy and knowledge.
Women face unique challenges
One of the essential aspects of this research is the role of gender in entrepreneurship. Women face unique challenges in accessing capital, networking opportunities, and the broader ecosystem of entrepreneurship. By understanding these challenges, research can help to address gender-based disparities in entrepreneurship, improve gender representation and diversity in the field, and pave the way for more inclusive and equitable business environments.
Moreover, research on diversity and entrepreneurship can help improve immigration policies with an inverse engineering perspective. Understanding the unique challenges faced by immigrants in accessing financial services, capital, and funding can help policymakers to design more effective policies that support immigrant entrepreneurship and encourage economic growth.
Researching the impact of diversity on entrepreneurship
The impact of diversity on entrepreneurship is a complex and multifaceted issue that requires a collaborative effort between academics, policymakers, and industry players.
Assessing the impact of diversity on entrepreneurship is a critically important area that requires greater attention. Through rigorous empirical analysis and strong statistical analysis, it can provide valuable insights into the unique challenges faced by minority groups in accessing financial services, capital, and funding. The outcomes of such research can be used to improve the availability of financial services to minority groups, enhance financial literacy and knowledge, and design more effective policies that support minority entrepreneurship. By fostering a more inclusive and equitable business environment, we can promote economic growth and development that benefits everyone in society.
My research in the field of the impact of diversity on entrepreneurship is still ongoing, and I am excited to announce a fully funded PhD position at Heriot-Watt University for those who are motivated to join me in this pursuit.
About the author
Maryam Sholevar has both academic and business experiences over a broad range of topics in the realm of banking and finance. She holds a BSc in Natural Resources and an MBA, during which she focused on analysing customer loyalty. Before joining SOAS, she worked as a lecturer at Jimma University, Ethiopia, where she received several awards of appreciation for her novel teaching methods. Her research has an emphasis on understanding the impact of financial literacy on strengthening Financial Inclusion (FI) in low-income countries.