Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


Executive Leadership

First Supervisor

Anthony Chiarlitti, EdD

Second Supervisor

Nikki Stewart, EdD


This interpretive phenomenological study aimed to investigate the interactions between race socialization, trust, and Black entrepreneurs’ social capital mobilization. The 12 study participants conducted business in New York City and the surrounding counties. The primary sources of data collected were semi-structured interviews and researcher journal entries for validity. Four themes emerged from the interpretive analysis conducted: (a) race socialization matters, (b) trust is relationship based, (c) networks are vast but often homogeneous, and (d) competence-based mobilization.

This study found that Black entrepreneurs are influenced by messages about direct and vicarious discriminatory racial encounters. Race socialization messages served as protective instructions to prepare some of the participants for harmful interactions. The absence of such messages left many participants more susceptible to emotional trauma. However, with or without race socialization messages, most participants navigated intra- and interracial business interactions, such as networking and social capital mobilization, with caution. Recommendations for supporting Black entrepreneurs are rooted in trauma-informed practices through a sociocultural lens that reduces the influence of racism and discrimination through trust building.

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