em_gazellesThe Gazelle Project collected qualitative data in a series of face-to-face interviews with southeastern entrepreneurs who started their businesses within the past 13 years. This series of articles will summarize the results of the project.

Articles will examine a decline in business formations to set the context; firm founders’ motivations and experience; the role of social capital, including social and professional relationships, in building gazelles; and the financing of gazelles.

The Atlanta Fed’s Regional Economic Information Network (REIN) staff interviewed dozens of entrepreneurs across the Southeast to gather information about three broad areas:

  • Human capital: The skills, knowledge, and experience of the individuals involved in launching and building the businesses.
  • Social capital: The network of social and professional relationships that the founders use to identify and access resources.
  • Financial capital: The financing the founders used to begin operations and to fund growth.

The Atlanta Fed’s interest in small business focuses on three related issues: the role of small business in job creation; the role of small business in local economic development, and the role of the banking system in small business financing.

READ PART ONE: Keeping Up with the Gazelles, Part 1: Is the Herd Thinning?