Racism in Digital Entrepreneurship

An article by Complex takes up an important question: why did only 40 people turn up to a great SXSW session on growing entrepreneurship amongst minorities? The author argues that race and gender are not a benign issues in Silicon Valley, although people act as if they are. It ends on this note:

“The hour-long session, though, finally hit home when the moderator noted: ‘African Americans utilise Twitter more than any other group, yet they are so focused on using it instead of wondering how to create the next Twitter.’ It was perhaps the most powerful point of the day. And one for which no one seemed to have an answer.” 

The conclusion, that Black Americans simply need to be more entrepreneurial fails to address the structural biases that make digital careers unviable for people from disadvantaged groups. Similarly, places dominated by White people can often be hostile and unwelcoming to Black people, and fail to provide them the same social capital (social ties from their relationships and friendships) that can be leveraged into funding for start-ups and other tech projects.

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