The Financial Ecosystem and Black Businesses and Entrepreneurs


While small businesses represent a significant portion of the economy, there is mounting evidence that the playing field is not level for minority-owned businesses seeking access to capital. Attend this session to learn about the research of Jerome Williams, Distinguished Professor and Fellow of The Center for Urban Entrepreneurship & Economic Development in the Rutgers Business School, and his colleagues who have spent 10 years mystery shopping banks to investigate lending practices and customer experience. Their results demonstrate that in almost every instance, minorities were treated more poorly than their White counterparts. To help minority business owners identify discriminatory practices, Professor Williams will present two frameworks to support the adoption of race-based criteria in evaluating bank performance, namely, Corporate Social Responsibility and Corporate Social Innovation.

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This event is sponsored by Penn State's Smeal College of Business.