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ADAN Elevate – What motivates BPoC to found companies?

adan - 27. January 2022 - 0 comments

What motivates BPoC to become entrepreneurs?

Findings from the Survey by ADAN e.V. on BPoC Entrepreneurship in the D-A-CH Region

Motivation in Entrepreneurship

The year is coming to an end, and you are setting new goals or focusing on maximizing your existing personal achievements. In short: Keep the motivation high! This blog article will focus on the motives that (aspiring) BPoC entrepreneurs highlighted for founding a business as part of our survey on BPoC entrepreneurship in the D-A-CH region.

Before that, a short digression. In entrepreneurship, motivation is steered by so-called push and pull factors. Push factors are intrinsic or extrinsic motivators that steer individuals into entrepreneurship. These reasons can be lacking job prospects, (long-term) unemployment, financial hardship, or dismissal. Pull factors, on the other hand, are associated with opportunity-driven entrepreneurship. The motivation here stems from reasons beyond aspects essential for survival, i.e., independence, self-realization, personal development, profit orientation, status, and wealth accumulation. Regardless of what motivates entrepreneurs to start a business, they essentially want to make a difference, whether in their own lives or the lives of others.

What drives BPoC to found a company?

The survey asked (aspiring) founders: What is/was your motivation to start a business? Participants had the opportunity to select predefined answers, or to respond with a free text. Five predefined answers stood out: “To help my community/address a problem in my community”, “To follow my interest/passion to start”, “To solve a social problem”, “To run my own business/be my own boss” and “To pursue a market opportunity”.

When I analyze the responses in the context of push and pull factors, it is clear that pull factors play a role. Individuals want to take a new step to develop personally or to fill a gap in the market. Regardless of the specific industry, the willingness to innovate is evident. The answers can also be viewed in the context of push factors. The results show that 50% of the (aspiring) founders want to solve a specific social problem with their startup. Almost 70% of the aspiring founders and over 85% of existing founders want to help within their community. The experiences of BPoC at school and in the work environment, the representation in the media, which is -not exclusively- accompanied by stereotypes in German-speaking countries, the lack of products in the cosmetics industry, and more push BPoC increasingly to found businesses for their community. The results also show that the aspect of self-actualization plays a significant role. Almost 80% of the (aspiring) founders pursue entrepreneurship to follow their passion and work towards something that enriches them in such a way that financial profit becomes secondary. Altogether, this push can, in many cases, still potentially lead to generating a financial profit through the startup.

In the survey, we also asked participants, how they would define success. Due to individual interpretations and perceptions, there is not a one-sided definition for success. However, the results reveal that the participants do not exclusively focus on success from a financial perspective, but also from an emotional one. The majority of the (aspiring) founders equate it with personal satisfaction and giving back or bringing about a change. They see success as attaining their individual goals, which are not financially measurable

So, what is the motivation of (prospective) BPoC founders in Germany?

There is not the perfect answer. Nevertheless, I realized that founding for BPoC in Germany is more than just innovation in a specific industry. It is self-realization, progress, originality, and above all, giving back to and supporting the community. Success can thus be equated to this wise African proverb: “If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far go with your community“.


Project Assistant ADAN e.V.

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