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Entrepreneurs are intimately tied, through their social relationships, to a broader network of actors. Such actors include, among others, customers, suppliers, and competitors and often extend across industries and even cultural, political, and geographic boundaries. Entrepreneurial networks provide multiple benefits for the founding and growth of the new venture: They facilitate the search for opportunities, provide access to vital resources, and help gain credibility and legitimacy.

Research into entrepreneurial networks emerged in the mid-1980s within the field of entrepreneurship. Scholars began to recognize the embeddedness of the entrepreneurial process and that entrepreneurs are not isolated. Since then, entrepreneurial network research has looked at the impact of the network on the new venture performance and has examined which types of tie (connection) matter when. Other views on ...

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