Wichita State researchers study the history of local entrepreneurs


An interdisciplinary team of researchers at Wichita State University are exploring nonwhite (or “ethnic”) entrepreneurship in Wichita and are inviting local business owners to fill out a survey.

The survey asks about how and why entrepreneurs got involved in the business, the nature of the business and the support they receive.

Barton School of Business Professor Sue Abdinnour and history professors Robert E. Weems Jr. and Jay M. Price are trying to understand the variety of ethnic entrepreneurs in this city.

For Weems, Willard W. Garvey Distinguished Professor of Business History, this project builds on a significant oral history project involving African American business leaders.

Abdinnour and Price have worked on a number of local entrepreneur history projects, including a study of Lebanese business families, a mapping study of ethnic businesses on North Broadway and the history of Pizza Hut for the exhibit to be located in the original Pizza Hut on campus.

“Ethnic entrepreneurs are often lumped together,” says Abdinnour. “However, we need to get a better understanding of how entrepreneurs from different groups function and whether the nature of those business activities has changed over the years.”

The survey can be accessed at http://bit.ly/EntrepSurvey.

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