History of Black Entrepreneurship
Little attention is placed on the lives, ingenuity, and impact of black entrepreneurs, managers and business in a standard business school curriculum. This module addresses this issue head-on by focusing on the history of black entrepreneurs, managers and their businesses across the Americas, Africa, and the UK. Our approach is exploratory, rather than about acquiring and repeating a pre-defined curriculum. As such students on this module need to be resourceful and intrepid, as we journey away from canonical business texts and into the forgotten or marginalised but hugely significant reaches of black capitalism.
We’ll examine the black corporate pioneer and financial wizard Charles Spaulding, consider race and the business of sport and culture, the impact of black corporate leaders, giant enterprises from Africa, and the experience of black businesses and their leaders in the UK.
This is an open module requiring no prerequisites. Enthusiasm, interest in the historical development of businesses and world economic history are more important, but no prior knowledge will be assumed.
This module is not part of the “with Proficiency in Entrepreneurship” pathway.
Full module specification
|Module title:||History of Black Entrepreneurship|
|Duration of module:||
Duration (weeks) - term 2: |
Expanding and enriching our understanding of the diversity of the business world is our core aim. In focusing on black entrepreneurs and managers, their actions, impact and writing, we aim to gauge and celebrate this corporate endeavour. Our aim is therefore to enable students to discover events, activity and literatures that are not commonly illuminated in our curriculum.
This module is exploratory. Curriculum is not established, textbooks of any breadth are not prominent.
We draw therefore upon the philosophy of a Connected Curriculum where learning is achieved through research and enquiry (Fung, 2017). Fung’s manifesto makes the following claim. “The contention is that the predominant – although not necessarily exclusive – mode of learning for students should be active enquiry and, where possible, engagement with current research that is pushing forward what is known in a particular field. As knowledge does not confine itself to disciplinary boundaries, however, that enquiry should push across traditional subject borders to create new analyses and connections (p.4).”
ILO: Module-specific skills
- 1. Identify and assess the historical impact of black-owned or managed business
- 2. Compare the experiences and fortunes of black businesses in the Americas, Africa and Europe
- 3. Appraise why black entrepreneurs and business dont have prominence in business school curricula
ILO: Discipline-specific skills
- 4. Collate and interpret data from a variety of primary and secondary sources
- 5. Apply appropriate management or economic theory to assist in the handling of data
ILO: Personal and key skills
- 6. Organise a research plan to complete the assessment tasks
- 7. Communicate evidence and interpretation in a compelling and clear manner
Learning activities and teaching methods (given in hours of study time)
|Scheduled Learning and Teaching Activities||Guided independent study||Placement / study abroad|
Details of learning activities and teaching methods
|Category||Hours of study time||Description|
|Seminars||10||Core discussion seminars for case material, key articles and primary evidence|
|Whole class meetings (lectures, guest speakers, discussions)||10||Primarily used for guest speakers, and whole class discussion, and to outline assessment|
|Guided Independant Study||30||Preparation for seminars|
|Guided independent study||100||Assessment planning and completion|
|Form of assessment||Size of the assessment (eg length / duration)||ILOs assessed||Feedback method|
|Case discussion||As part of seminar discussion||1,2,5,7||Verbal|
|Evidence commentaries||As part of seminar discussion||1,3,4,6,7||Verbal and written by email|
Summative assessment (% of credit)
|Coursework||Written exams||Practical exams|
Details of summative assessment
|Form of assessment||% of credit||Size of the assessment (eg length / duration)||ILOs assessed||Feedback method|
|Essay||50||2000 words||1-7||Written via e-bart|
|Research Portfolio (evidence commentaries, infographics and reportage)||50||2000 words||1-7||Written via e-bart|
Details of re-assessment (where required by referral or deferral)
|Original form of assessment||Form of re-assessment||ILOs re-assessed||Timescale for re-assessment|
|Research Portfolio||Research Portfolio||1-7||Next opportunity|
Reassessment follows the same pattern as the original assessment, with only failed assessments reassessed.
- Researching the forgotten history of black entrepreneurship
- WEB Du Bois, Booker T. Washington and The Negro in Business
- African American entrepreneurs
- African American approaches to management
- Access and markets for African American businesses
- Rise of the black CEO
- African enterprises and entrepreneurs
- Black business and entrepreneurs in the UK
Indicative learning resources - Basic reading
Baradaran, M. (2017). The color of money: Black banks and the racial wealth gap. Harvard University Press.
Boyd, R. L. (2007). Historically black colleges and universities and the black business elite. Sociological Perspectives , 50 (4), 545-560.
Butler, J. S. (2012). Entrepreneurship and self-help among black Americans: A reconsideration of race and economics. Suny Press.
Feinstein, C. H. (2005). An economic history of South Africa: Conquest, discrimination, and development. Cambridge University Press.
Fung, D. (2017). A connected curriculum for higher education. UCL Press.
Hill, L. W., & Rabig, J. (Eds.). (2012). The business of black power: Community development, capitalism, and corporate responsibility in postwar America. University Rochester Press.
Levy, J. A. (2020). Black Power in the Boardroom: Corporate America, the Sullivan Principles, and the Anti-Apartheid Struggle. Enterprise & Society, 21 (1), 170-209.
Newman, R. J., & Rosen, J. N. (2014). Black baseball, black business: Race enterprise and the fate of the segregated dollar. Univ. Press of Mississippi.
Olusoga, D. (2016). Black and British: A forgotten history. Pan Macmillan.
Prieto, L.C., & Phipps, T.A. (2019). African American Management History. Emerald Points.
Walker, J. E. (2009). The history of black business in America: Capitalism, race, entrepreneurship (Vol. 1). UNC Press Books.
Wills, S. (2018). Black Fortunes: the story of the first six African Americans who escaped slavery and became millionaires. HarperCollins.
Module has an active ELE page?
Indicative learning resources - Web based and electronic resources
Last revision date