***** To join INSNA, visit http://www.insna.org *****


Social Networks of Entrepreneurs: Conditions, Compositions and Consequences

Over the last two decades, social networks received increasing attention in research on  entrepreneurial activities. Studies indicated, e.g., that the creation, stimulation and success of entrepreneurship are significantly affected by entrepreneurs’ social networks. Access to relevant information, brokerage opportunities, financial support as well as social and emotional support are important for, e.g., opportunity identification and the mobilization of resources that are necessary for business success (e.g., Stuart and Sorensen 2007, Westlund and Bolton 2003). Other studies revealed that small and medium-sized firms’ practices are influenced by both strong and weak ties, local and more geographically dispersed contacts.

Moreover, in line with the mixed embeddedness approach (Kloosterman and Rath 2001), networks and their effect on business success appear to vary among types of entrepreneurs (e.g., native/immigrant entrepreneurs; male/female entrepreneurs) and contexts (neighborhood, local, regional contexts; market and institutional contexts). Although most research on the interface of social networks and entrepreneurship focused on inter-organizational relationships and/or other professional relationships that are directly relevant for and/or a result of the activities of firms, relatively little is known about a) how entrepreneurial networks emerge, vary, and change over time and b) the interrelation between personal, social, emotional and professional supportive relationships of entrepreneurs and its association with entrepreneurial success.

We invite abstracts for original oral presentations on research at the interface of social networks and entrepreneurship.

Questions to be addressed may include, but are not limited to, the following:

On conditions and compositions of social networks of entrepreneurs: What are specific characteristics of the networks of entrepreneurs? How do the entrepreneurs’ individual characteristics (e.g., gender, nationality, age, religion, education level) and context characteristics (e.g.,  local market composition) affect the composition, structure and use (in terms of resource flows) of their network? How do networks of small and medium sized firms and their entrepreneurs evolve over time?

On consequences of social networks of entrepreneurs: To what extent does network embeddedness mediate the relationship between entrepreneur’s individual human and financial capital and business performance? How do the composition (e.g., in terms of personal and professional relations; transnational contacts; family relations) and structure (brokerage versus closure) of the networks of entrepreneurs both affect the start-up and success of firms? How do changing entrepreneurial social networks affect business performance over time, and vice versa?

If you would like to participate:

Please submit your abstract (before 31 March 2015 at 17:00 GMT) using the following link to the conference’s abstract submission system: http://insna.org/sunbelt2015.

Please limit your abstract to 250 words. During the submission process, be sure to select “Social Networks of Entrepreneurs: Conditions, Compositions and Consequences” for the ‘sessions’ field. In addition, we would appreciate it if you also email your abstract for this organized session directly to us ([log in to unmask]).

The conference website (http://www.sunbelt2015.org) provides additional information about the venue and conference.


Please contact us if you have any questions. We look forward to your contributions!

Best regards,

Gerald Mollenhorst, Giacomo Solano, Marianne de Beer, and José Luis Molina


Session organizers:

Dr. Gerald Mollenhorst

Dept. of Human Geography and Spatial Planning, Urban Geography, Utrecht University, the Netherlands

Dept. of Sociology, Stockholm University, Sweden

[log in to unmask]


Giacomo Solano, MSc.

Dept. of Sociology and Social Research, University of Milan-Bicocca, Italy

School of Innovation Sciences, Eindhoven University of Technology, the Netherlands

[log in to unmask]


Marianne de Beer, MSc.

Dept. of Human Geography and Spatial Planning, Economic Geography, Utrecht University, the Netherlands

[log in to unmask]


Prof. José Luis Molina

Egolab-GRAFO, Dept. of Social and Cultural Anthropology, Autonomous University of Barcelona, Spain

[log in to unmask]


_____________________________________________________________________ SOCNET is a service of INSNA, the professional association for social network researchers (http://www.insna.org). To unsubscribe, send an email message to [log in to unmask] containing the line UNSUBSCRIBE SOCNET in the body of the message.