Document Type



Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Business Administration

First Advisor's Name

Douglas H. Smith

First Advisor's Committee Title

Committee Chair

Second Advisor's Name

Carlos N. Alvarez

Third Advisor's Name

Robert S. Winter


African American business enterprises -- Florida -- Miami-Dade County, Small business -- Florida -- Miami-Dade County, Success in business -- Florida -- Miami-Dade County

Date of Defense



The purpose of this investigation was to examine the characteristics of the successful small black-owned enterprises in Dade County, Florida. A descriptive and correlational research approach was employed in this study, in which there were two phases: an initial questionnaire study of 353 small black-owned businesses, and an interview study of 20 randomly selected most successful and 20 least successful small black entrepreneurs.

The main conclusions in the study are (1) the characteristics are not the same for all successful small black-owned firms, (2) success factors are not identical for all small black-owned firms, (3) the majority of small black-owned firms are deficient in critical successs factors, (4) the relationship between staff development, leadership styles, HRD skills and success is significant, (5) the majority of small black entrepreneurs are not extremely aware of the value of staff development to the success of their firms.

The recommendations for further research are (1) experimental studies need to be carried out to analyse further the relationship between HRD skills and success in black-owned firms as the findings of this study should be treated as exploratory, (2) to confirm or disconfirm the findings as, unlike this study, other studies have reported a significant relationship between certain selected critical factors and success in small firms, (3) to test the relationship between the awareness of staff development (as a success factor) and success in small black-owned firms, and (4) to examine further the relationship between leadership styles and success in small black-owned firms.




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