Networks in Entrepreneurship

41 Pages Posted: 26 Aug 2006

See all articles by Tom Elfring

Tom Elfring

VU University Amsterdam

Willem Hulsink

Erasmus University Rotterdam (EUR) - Rotterdam School of Management (RSM)

Date Written: May 2001 6,


The value of networks as integral part of the explanation of entrepreneurial success is widely acknowledged. However, the network perspective lacks specification of the various dimensions of a network and their impact on the early development of a venture. We make a distinction between a Schumpeterian start-up pursuing a radical innovation and a Kirznerian venture on basis of an incremental innovation. This distinction is introduced as a contingency in the way networks contribute to the ability of the entrepreneur to discover opportunities, to get resources, and to gain legitimacy. In this explorative study three cases on high technology firms in The Netherlands provide empirical material to develop a number of propositions on the network effect on the survival or performance of start-ups.

Keywords: start-up firms, discovering opportunities, high-tech entrepreneurship, networks, entrepreneurial processes

JEL Classification: M, L20, M13

Suggested Citation

Elfring, Tom and Hulsink, Willem, Networks in Entrepreneurship (May 2001 6,). ERIM Report Series Reference No. ERS-2001-28-STR. Available at SSRN:

Tom Elfring (Contact Author)

VU University Amsterdam ( email )

De Boelelaan 1105
Amsterdam, ND North Holland 1081 HV

Willem Hulsink

Erasmus University Rotterdam (EUR) - Rotterdam School of Management (RSM) ( email )

P.O. Box 1738
Room T08-21
3000 DR Rotterdam, 3000 DR

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