Social Networks Foster Entrepreneurship
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Social Networks Foster Entrepreneurship

THE IMPACT OF SHARING IDEAS AND PROJECTS IN AN EXPERIMENT CONDUCTED BY FERNANDO VEGA REDONDO IN GHANA

Entrepreneurs should take every opportunity to interact with their peers, exchanging views and sharing skills. They are all chances to create or grow enterprise, Fernando Vega-Redondo says. He is studying Virtual social networks and entrepreneurship in low-income countries to understand how peer networks affect innovation. The project started with a pilot experiment in Ghana and it eventually evolved in a large-scale field experiment that involved 5,000 entrepreneurs coming from 45 African countries. “There is a huge potential for enterprise in Africa where 60% of the population is below 25,”  Vega-Redondo says. “In many countries there are stable institutions, a significant fraction of well-educated people, and an enterprising population. The environment is ripe for some tool that promotes entrepreneurship.” At the beginning of the experiment, participants were divided into two groups. Both followed an online business course, but only the treatment group enjoyed a specially-created Internet-based chatting platform designed for sharing ideas and creating a community of entrepreneurs.

The experiment lasted two months and a half. At the end of the process, all business proposals were evaluated by a panel of professionals. The best of them were then subsequently assessed, and some funded, by real investors. “According to the feedback provided by the professionals and investors, interactions matter: the entrepreneurs of the treatment group did better, especially when all group members belonged to the same country.” Diversity is important. If entrepreneurs only interact with people like them, they will not have much to gain. “Our experiment identifies virtually implemented social networks as a cost-effective and scalable way of promoting entrepreneurship.”

Read more about this topic:
Nicolai Foss. Entrepreneurship Goes beyond Startups
Carlo Mammola and Luigi Mastromauro. Predicting Startup Success with Data
Good Business Plan not Enough for Success. Interview to Alisée de Tonnac
Creating an Identikit of Entrepreneurs from 1850 to Present
Grow Your Business but Minimize the Risks
The Key Role of Taxation Regimes for Startups
A Small Fee for Business Training Improves Course Attendance
Family Ownership Helps Cope with Political Uncertainty
Experimental DecisionMaking Approach Attracts Funding
Entrepreneurs Who Act Like Scientists Get Better Results
Avocado Toast Leads to Hot Brooklyn Startup. Interview to Alessandro Biggi
Turning “Spotify for Textbooks” into $4.8 mln. Interview to Perlego
Looking at Gender Bias in Funding Yields a Surprise Result
Family Firm Governance Results Linked to Context
Taking Texting to the Next Level with Kaleyra. Interview to Dario Calogero
Connecting the Dots on How WWI Unleashed new Business Performance
 

by Claudio Todesco

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