In Research, Social Finance


Year: 2013
Published in: BAM2013 Conference Paper
Cited as: Ferri, Paul, David Moyes, and Geoffrey Whittam. “Three forms–one outcome: the role of social capital in the early stages of the entrepreneurial process within a region with traditionally low business start-ups.” In 27th Annual British Academy of Management Conference: Managing to Make a Difference. 2013


Scotland, Social Capital, Entrepreneurship, Start-ups


Whilst there is a growing stream of literature on the relationship between entrepreneurship and social capital, little research exists which explores this relationship in the early stages of the new business venturing process, particularly in a ‘deprived’ area. This paper addresses the gap in the current literature by investigating the role of social capital in the early stages of the entrepreneurial process within West Dunbartonshire, Scotland, an area recognized to be ‘deprived’ by official statistics.
A qualitative methodology was adopted to explore this issue. A single method approach was employed utilising semi-structured, in-depth interviews to gather rich data from two respondent groups in West Dunbartonshire; nascent entrepreneurs (n=5) and established entrepreneurs (n=7). The primary research in this paper is drawn from a doctoral thesis where field work was undertaken over an eight month period spanning 2009 and 2010.
The findings of the paper reflect that although social capital has an important role in the early stages of the entrepreneurial process, it is not a central one, but rather a complementary enabling factor.
The contribution to the literature of this paper lies in the increased understanding of the role of specific social capital components and the role these play in the early stages of entrepreneurial process within a localised context.
The paper concludes that the existing relationship between social capital and entrepreneurship, particularly at the beginning of the new business start-up phase of the entrepreneurial process, may have been over-stated in the literature.