Institute of Industrial Economics, University of Newcastle
Place of publication
This study empirically tests the fundamental assumption that social networks are important to entrepreneurs. This assumption underpins most social network research conducted in the field of entrepreneurship and is seldom questioned. Empirical data were drawn from Australia’s participation in the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor project (GEM) from 2000- 2005 – an aggregate sample of 14,205 randomly selected Australians. The study demonstrated: (1) statistically significant differences in social networks when entrepreneurs and non-entrepreneurs are compared and (2) that the structural diversity of social networks changes during the entrepreneurial process. It was found that structural diversity was most important to entrepreneurs in the discovery stage, least important to entrepreneurs in the start-up stage and of medium importance to entrepreneurs in the young business stage.