Building a business network: the experiences of immigrant entrepreneurs
Purpose – The importance of networks with respect to acquiring the resources needed for business creation is one of the main areas within entrepreneurship research. Although there is significant literature on the use of social capital and human capital by immigrant entrepreneurs, there is an absence of studies which report the impact of business networks. Therefore, the purpose of this paper is to report the findings of a study examining the process of business network development by immigrant entrepreneurs. Design/methodology/approach – For each of the 28 entrepreneurs, data were collected using a questionnaire and an interview. In completing the questionnaire, the entrepreneurs were asked to fill out a network audit, followed by a series of multiple‐choice questions. For the responses from the interviews, narrative structuring is used to create a coherent story of the entrepreneurs' experience of business networks. Findings – This paper presents data characterizing the entrepreneurs, their experience in business networks, and enablers and disablers to the development of a business network. Practical implications – The outcome is multiple perspectives on the purpose, process, benefits and challenges of developing a business network, and the impact of participation in a formal business network. Originality/value – The findings which emerge offer insights into the development of business networks by immigrant entrepreneurs.
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