Ethnographic research and writing are often long and lonely processes.
When we are lucky these pursuits can also foster intimate and collabora-
tive engagements. I have been fortunate to experience both the creative
intensity of isolated concentration and the benefit of diverse interlocutors
with whom I have shared and debated the observations and ideas that fill
these pages: colleagues, friends, family, and my entrepreneurial “infor-
mants” themselves.
The seeds of this project were planted in 1999 when Kate Browne in-
vited me to study entrepreneurship through a comparative lens. We gath-
ered parallel data about Barbados, Martinique, and Puerto Rico, with the
hopes of understanding how the growing rise of entrepreneurship would
unfold differently given the distinct colonial histories of these three Ca-
ribbean islands. Generous grants from the National Science Foundation
supported this ambitious fieldwork. Although distance and life events
intervened and our original plan for a three island comparison was not
realized, I am indebted to Kate for her vision, scholarship, and friendship.
Diane Cummins assisted in the identification of new Barbadian entrepre-
neurs, and Eudine Barriteau and Christine Barrow at the University of the
West Indies, Cave Hill campus, have provided intellectual camaraderie
for more than twenty years. Thanks to Serena Jones, Kim Goddard, Vicki
Goddard, Lulu Martin, and Arthur and Siddy Streetly, who added to my
roster of entrepreneurs.
At Emory University, I have received extraordinary support for this proj-
ect in every possible form. The Institute of Comparative and International
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