Overcoming the Hurdles of Minority Business Government Contracting: A Transcendental Phenomenological Study

Overcoming the Hurdles of Minority Business Government Contracting: A Transcendental Phenomenological Study

Author: 
Fon J. Ngu
Program of study: 
D.B.A.
Abstract: 
About 30% of the United States population are minorities. According to the United States Census Bureau, businesses owned by Hispanics, Blacks, American Indians, Alaskan natives, and Asian Pacific Islanders, are referred to as Minority Owned Businesses. The purpose of this qualitative transcendental phenomenological study was to understand the lived experiences and perceptions of 20 minority business executives, in order to learn how they have been able to overcome the hurdles inherent in minority business government contracting. Twenty minority business executives were interviewed in their offices in Columbus, Dayton, and Cincinnati, Ohio for the study. Each participant was asked 10 open-ended questions in a face-to-face interview to give them an opportunity to describe their lived experiences and perceptions. Ninety percent reported that the lack of financing and credit were the biggest hurdles that they faced as vendors to government agencies. Seventy percent said their lack of knowledge about the government procurement process as well as their inability to deal with huge government bureaucracies were major impediments when they tried to sell to government. Seventyfive percent of the participants also reported that bitter memories of Black history, discrimination, and prejudice, prevented them from fully exploiting procurement opportunities with government agencies. Ninety-five percent of the participants reported that when they finally overcame their anxieties about government procurement and specialized in certain product areas, they began to win procurement contracts. A majority also reported that they found success as vendors to government, by coming up with creative ways of financing, and by being persistent.
Dedication: 
This study is dedicated to the memory of my beloved father; Sylvester Ngu, who departed this world at age 101, after waiting as long as he could to see at least one of his nine children earn a doctoral degree. Dad, I was inspired by your lifelong quest for knowledge, to complete my studies and earn this doctoral degree for you, despite the enormous challenges. You never had a chance to receive a formal education, but you educated your brother; and then taught yourself how to read and write, and became the village recorder. Those actions inspired me at a very young age to take education seriously, and so I thank you enormously for your exemplary life. I am deeply grateful for being your son. I also dedicate this work to my incredible dear mother; Justina Ngu, who never failed to ask me each time I called home, if I had completed my doctoral studies. Finally, this study is dedicated to my dear wife; Frida, whose unshakeable love, tireless efforts, gourmet cooking, and high sense of responsibility have kept me focused and determined to complete this program. To my children Besh, Fon Jr., Beau, and Beekengsa, I say thank you for believing in dad even though my doctoral journey was fraught with more setbacks than I ever imagined. I love all of you more than you will ever know, and I thank God for keeping all of you strong and healthy during all these past difficult years.
Acknowledgements: 
I acknowledge and thank my wife; Frida, and my children for their love, patience, and understanding. To my siblings; Bertha, Bridget, Vincent, Mary, Delphine, Odilia, Grace, and Chi, I say thanks you for your love. I am deeply grateful to my sister; Bridget, for taking the initiative as a teenager, to trek for almost 20 miles from Santa to Akum, Cameroon, to rescue me when I was seven, from a yearlong traumatic physical abusive situation that would have killed me. I am sincerely grateful and thankful to my doctoral Chair; Dr. Amy Hakim, for her unwavering support and guidance throughout my doctoral journey. My wonderful doctoral committee members; Dr. Angela Albert, and Dr. James Ziegler, together represent a model of excellence. I am deeply grateful for their guidance, and for their patience and understanding. I am also grateful to Dr. Rea Walden, Chief Operating Officer, Urban League of Cincinnati, Ohio, for her support and for her contributions toward the completion of this study. To my friend, Alex Olama, I thank you for the trouble you went through in 1993 to travel all the way from the USA through Yaounde, to Bamenda, Cameroon, to stand by me as my best man during my wedding. Thank you a million times as well, Alex Olama, for saving my life when I almost drowned in my own swimming pool in 1993. My special thanks and love go to the beautiful Adeline Mintsop Feutio, and to her beautiful and wonderful children, Malika, Letitia, Maffo, and Harold, for their incredible kindness, generosity, and sacrifices on my behalf.