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Credibility is a critical resource at start up and represents an important element of the entrepreneur's personal contact network

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  1. Basis for credibility
  2. The problem met while networking
  3. The advantages of the Entrepreneurs' network

Traditionally, entrepreneurs have been considered as individuals with a strong, often charismatic, leadership as well as a high drive for individualism and independence. However, the same cannot be said for businesses. A business unit does not exist in isolation as it will be, in contact with a whole range of other organizations. Porter and Ketels' (2003, p45) study of British competitiveness points out that business networking often plays a particularly important role in the diffusion of new management practice and innovation. This is particularly relevant for entrepreneurial start-ups if we consider Schumpeter's analysis that the entrepreneur leads the way in creating new industries. Thus, entrepreneurs are bound to cooperate at most during the creation of their company, which is a critical step for survival of the business, as the initial resources on which they can rely on are limited. A means to overcome this will be the credibility these businesses can get from their network. However, there are no studies on credibility in the fields of entrepreneurship, as research has been linked only with marketing and organizational behavior (Ali & Birley, 1998, p750).

[...] Of course, the more networking activities an entrepreneur engages in, the larger his or her personal network (extensiveness), the more he or she is linked to other members (intensity) at a preferably high frequency (activity level) and the more central his or her position in the network should be (centrality and reachability). These three entities of networks should be regarded together since it has been found more productive to think in terms of the organisation in a wider sense as being a network of relationships (Wickham 1998, p86). [...]

[...] Willingness is not only a vital asset for the survival of the new company but it also makes the entrepreneur become an important actor of the network, and leads him to success. The advantages of the Entrepreneurs' network Different studies have been taken to verify the success of start-ups linked to networking, measuring principally the intention to growth and the profitability. Aldrich, Rosen and Woodward (1987) conducted one of the first empirical studies that examined the effect of entrepreneurial networking activities on the success of start-ups in North Carolina (United States). [...]

[...] (2000) ?Enterprise and Small Business', Prenctice Hall, chapters 7 and 21. Cooper, A. C., Folta, T. and Woo, C. Y ?Information acquisition and performance by start-up firms', in Churchill, N. C., Bygrave, W. D., Covin, J. G., Sexton, D. L., Slevin, D. P., Vesper, K. H. and Wetzel, W. E. Jr. ?Frontiers of Entrepreneurship Research' (Wellesley, MA: Babson College) pp. 276?290. Doss, E. (2004), Interviewed for the tutorial ?Entrepreneurs that I know', ENTR207,week 7. Drakopoulou Dodd, S., Jack, S. and Anderson, A. [...]

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