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Low and Middle Class Business Owners Are Educated

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Essay title: Low and Middle Class Business Owners Are Educated

Low and Middle Class Business Owners are Highly Educated

Each day millions of people encounter many different types of small businesses whose purpose is to assist those customers with a particular interest. For example, many people may like to start off the day by going into a delicatessen to buy breakfast and then occasionally might have to stop by a gas station where a newspaper or a pack of cigarettes may catch their attention while they are filling up gas. Around lunchtime, a person may grow an appetite for Italian food, Chinese food, American food, Mexican food or even other types, in which each type of meal calls for a different store whose purpose is to serve that specific cultural meal. Many people may then spend the afternoon shopping for clothes, shoes, and/or food for the house. Women may have an appointment for a nail treatment, spa treatment, or a haircut. In other words, if people take the time to notice how they spent their day, they may realize they had sought many types of businesses for a particular purpose. However, they may also realize that many of these everyday small businesses, not including department stores and mega-multi shopping stores such as Wal-Mart, are generally run by minorities, who include African Americans, Asians, Hispanics and women, and/or people of middle class status. It is obvious that owning and running a successful business is not an easy day-to-day task. Yet, a management position or even an employee position in a small privately owned business may not be as difficult to obtain a professional position in a large company whose typical minimum requirement would be to have a bachelor’s degree. This leads to the stereotype that a majority of the employees and owners of small privately owned businesses do not have the required education that would allow them to gain a professional career. Since a college education is a large expense and requires a lot of time, minorities of the lower to middle class may not be able to afford to pay the tuition, in addition to taking time off from work to attend college classes. While the general assumption may be that people of the low and middle classes may resort to owning a private business because they have little to no college education due to the expenses, in actuality, statistics and personal encounters convey the fact that the majority of low and middle class business owners do have at least a college degree.

After high school, low and middle class students have the choice to either continue education by entering college or a vocational school or instead enter the workforce. Since many teenagers had the opportunity to work part-time at local small businesses during high school, obtaining a full-time job and a promotion may appear to be easier, faster and more financially reasonable for them. In addition, college tuition, books and room and board, and not to mention the cost of loans, have increased dramatically over the past few years. However, the assumption that a person working in a small business does not have a college education because he/she could not afford it and is not able to give up time to attend classes is not true. While higher education is expensive and time consuming, community colleges provide a great education at a very low cost. There is also a lot of financial aid from the government that is readily available to students who are in need. Students can also apply to the hundreds of scholarships that are established for those in financial need every year, and many of these scholarships are targeted to minorities, too. There are also a few federal loans available that do not have interest until after graduation and some loans are even flexible according to one’s financial status at the time of repayment. Although some people who are in bigger financial problems need to work full-time regardless of financial aid, many colleges provide night classes as well. Therefore, the idea of obtaining a college degree even for those of lower class is possible and realistic. In fact, according to the United States Census Bureau, a 2002 survey shows that over sixty-four percent of small business owners do indeed have a college education. That’s more than half of American business owners. To be more specific, about twenty-three percent had a bachelor’s degree and seventeen percent possessed a graduate degree. It is important to note that many of these business owners had worked their way up to the management position while others acquired ownership from the start. Yet, knowing that a large number of business owners possess a college education does make a customer walking into a small local business think twice next time that stereotype comes to mind.

Another perspective to business owners is the fact that not every owner, nor employee, headed straight to the workforce after high school. As mentioned before, with the large amount of financial

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