Entrepreneurs and their Networks

Entrepreneurs and their Networks

Judith Pampalona-Tarrés (Autonomous University of Barcelona, Spain) & Giacomo Solano (University of Milan-Bicocca, Italy)

The analysis of entrepreneurs’ social networks is a fairly long-lasting field of research. Over the last two decades, research on networks emerged as a relevant new area of research within the field of entrepreneurial activities. Nowadays, there is a large body of studies with several contributions focusing on the use of their social networks by entrepreneurs and the resources that they take advantage of and activate through them.

Considering the entrepreneur as someone who runs a business or carries out a task with a certain degree of autonomy on the market (Codagnone, 2003:34) , it is interesting to see the relevance of the role of his/her network for business success. Actually, their networks are constituted through formal and informal relations that will later provide some benefits and crucial opportunities for business growth.

Furthermore, following the mixed embeddedness approach (Kloosterman and Rath, 2001) , not only the spatial analysis of networks provide some very interesting information, but also the characteristics of the context (at different levels, e.g. country or city, society attributes or legislation, among others) affect and influence the network’s composition and the entrepreneurial actions.

For the session we welcome original and innovative contributions to this topic, taking into account not only the entrepreneurs’ social networks but also entrepreneurs’ characteristics (e.g. educational level) and how these characteristics affect the entrepreneurial paths and the network composition and structure.

We invite abstracts for oral presentations on research about network analysis and entrepreneurial activities. Questions to be addressed may include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • To what extent does network embeddedness mediate the relationship between entrepreneurship and business performance?
  • How do the network composition and the interpersonal type of relationships (relatives, strong ties, weak ties, people in the country of residence or in other countries, etc.) provide help and support to the entrepreneurs?
  •  Regarding the network structure, how differential network positioning affect resource flows, and hence, entrepreneurial paths?
  • How do the network structure and composition and the use that entrepreneurs make of it change from the start-up to the consolidation of the business?
  •  How do the entrepreneurs’ individual characteristics (gender, native/immigrant, age, religion, etc.) affect the use they make of their network?



Codagnone C. (2003), Imprenditori immigrati: quadro teorico e comparativo, in Chiesi A., Zucchetti E. (eds.) (2003), Immigrati Imprenditori. Il contributo degli extracomunitari allo sviluppo della piccola impresa in Lombardia, Egea, Milano, 33-85.

Kloosterman, R. & J. Rath (2001), “Immigrant entrepreneurs in advanced economies. Mixed embeddedness further explored”, Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, 27(2), 189-202.

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