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McNair Scholar 2015Hamza A. Musse

Hamza A. Musse is a senior at the University of Minnesota, majoring in in Political Science. He is part of the BA/MPP in Political Engagement Program at the Humphrey School of Public Affairs. His research interests revolve around exploring how public-private partnerships can eliminate barriers for small businesses and reduce economic inequality. Hamza plans on receiving his Master’s in Public Policy in 2017 and eventually a Ph.D. in Economics.

Hamza A. Musse photo
My dream is to advance innovative solutions that further broadly shared economic prosperity by rethinking the economic development, civic infrastructure, and public health and environment of our communities. I see myself working in public service and international development to combat the complex challenges of a globalized world.

Research project

Growth of Black-Owned Businesses: Perceptions versus Statistics

Abstract: This research explores the factors contributing to the apparent dramatic growth in African American businesses in Minnesota over the past decade. According to nationally published economic reports, one measure of business ownership among African-Americans -- the self-employment rate -- has been steadily increasing since the start of the Great Recession despite a decline in overall national business ownership. This measure has shown dramatic increases for African Americans in Minnesota as well. One plausible explanation for the significant growth in black business ownership is that it is fueled by increases in the numbers of non-native born black business owners. This research explores this explanation by a detailed review of the literature, an analysis of existing data sets, and a survey of local stakeholders. Three complementary objectives of the research project are: a) to investigate whether some or most of the African American business growth in Minnesota and/or the Twin Cities can be attributed contributed to the growth of businesses owned by non-native born blacks; b) to determine whether the findings differ across different measures of business ownership and/or different data sources and time periods; and c) to explore whether the perceptions of local stakeholders among black business owners coincide with the findings from published data sources. The main data sources for the investigation are the American Community Survey Data for the state of Minnesota and specifically the Twin Cities Metropolitan Area for the periods 2005-2009 and 2008-2013; the Survey of Business Owners for Minnesota for 2002 and 2007; and the Economic Census for Minnesota for 2002 and 2007. Perceptions of stakeholders are obtained from an IRB-approved telephone survey (n=42). Download poster. [PDF]

Faculty profile

Samuel Myers, Jr. is the Director and Roy Wilkins Professor of Human Relations and Social Justice at the Humphrey School of Public Affairs and also serves as a faculty member for the Applied Economics Ph.D. program. He received his Bachelor's Degree in Economics from Morgan State University and his Ph.D. in Economics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Myers is a nationally distinguished expert on the methodology of conducting disparity studies and has pioneered the use of applied econometric practices to examine racial disparities in crime, credit markets, and public procurement and contracting. He was appointed by U.S. Attorney General Eric H. Holder to serve on the U.S Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs Science Advisory Board in 2015. Myers has been a McNair faculty mentor for 44 undergraduates since 1994.