One main criticism of qualitative inquiry, like focus groups, is the inability to both generalize the findings and determine their validity. One way to address these concerns is through triangulation, which compares findings from multiple research reports to determine similarities. There are two qualitative research reports that can be used to triangulate the findings from the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City focus groups. The first is a 2016 report by Walker’s Legacy, under the commission of the National Women’s Business Council and the U.S. Small Business Administration’s Office of Advocacy.20 The second is the 2011 Ph.D. dissertation submitted by Cassandra Bailey at Pepperdine University’s Graduate School of Education and Psychology, titled “African American Female Entrepreneurs: What Motivates them to Pursue Entrepreneurism.
”The Walker’s Legacy report is based on three meetings in Washington D.C., New York and Houston. At each meeting,40 to 50 black women who own businesses were asked a variety of questions about startup motivations and challenges. Bailey conducted open-ended interviews with six black women business owners to assess entrepreneurship motivation. The following chart compares major findings each research reportshared.22 The shaded boxes indicate shared findings.
Several findings were shared across the three research reports. All five motivations findings by the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City were shared by at least one other research report. Five of the six business challenge findings were shared by at least one other research report, the exception being the marketing challenge. All of the positive findings on support overlapped with at least one other research report. None of the research reports asked a formal question about the absence of support. However, absence of mentoring was a shared finding of the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City and one other research report. These overlaps allow us to make a general statement about the findings’ validity. They also suggest that the findings may apply to a broad cross section of black women who own businesses.
“The data is clear: investing in the growth and development of African-American female entrepreneurs pays off. Enhancing the potential within this demographic will help cultivate a more successful local ecosystem for all.”
-Christina Long, Create Campaign