Networks, Communication and Learning during Business Start-up: The Creation of Cognitive Social Capital

Robert Lee, Oswald Jones

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This comparative research examines the characteristics of nascent entrepreneurs' cognitive social capital created via face-to-face and electronic communication.The nascent entrepreneurs had trained on two distinct courses: Science Enterprise Challenge (SEC) and the New Entrepreneur Scholarship (NES).The SEC entrepreneurs were well educated and their postgraduate course was based on conventional educational principles while the NES entrepreneurs had little formal education and were taking a six-month diploma-based training programme.The quantitative and qualitative findings demonstrate strong similarities between the two groups in terms of their face-to-face communication and benefits from their bonding ties.There were clear differences between the groups' ability to benefit from electronic communication during bridging. NES entrepreneurs used email unwillingly and were unable to access to the same resources as the SEC group. Our conclusion is that the NES entrepreneurs were less able to create cognitive social capital electronically, which limited both their learning and their ability to obtain broader business backing including emotional support, information, advice, equipment and referrals.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)559-594
JournalInternational Small Business Journal
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2008

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