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The role of Social Capital in maintaining Irish Entrepreneurial Business Networks

The aim of this research is to investigate how Irish entrepreneurs use LinkedIn to form, develop and maintain a business network. The focus is to provide a descriptive account of social capital and entrepreneurship. Successful entrepreneurs understand the principles of business networking and how to improve wealth, health and happiness by creating rich social capital, tapping the hidden resources in their business, professional and personal networks.
This research starts with a review of the existing literature to create a foundation on social capital and entrepreneurship, then determines the perceived benefits of social networking. Finally, it concludes with an analysis of how Irish entrepreneurs use technology to increase their social capital.

This research will provide insight on three research questions:

  • What are the perceived benefits of networking?
  • How do Irish entrepreneurs form, maintain and develop an entrepreneurial network?
  • What is the use of technology to manage social capital?

This research explores these questions through semi-structured interviews with ten Irish entrepreneurs. Results showed an unexpected lack of technology to form, develop and maintain a business network. They also provide insight of the diffusion of technology into Irish social capital. Ireland remains a nation based on the principle of face to face business interactions.

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