Challenges for Ethnic Minority Small Business Owners

Researchers conducted interviews with 25 ethnic minority business owners in Aberdeen, all of whom faced difficulties in accessing labour, due to frequent changes to immigration rules. Challenges in attracting ethnic majority staff lead to a heavy reliance on student workers, but pathways for students to remain in the UK are narrowing. Meanwhile, Aberdeen’s economy is tied to oil price fluctuations, creating rapid changes in access to finance, demand for goods and services, prices for energy and raw materials, etc. The authors argue that ethnic minority entrepreneurs have less robust support systems to deal with these issues, leaving them much more vulnerable to failure.