Social Capital And Its Impact On New Venture Performance
Entrepreneurship is the process of transforming an idea into a tangible product or service that can be traded. High-growth entrepreneurial firms contribute a disproportionate share of all new jobs created by new firms. Past research has shown that a significant percentage of the population in a society is employed in entrepreneurial firms and small businesses. Entrepreneurship drives economic growth by stimulating innovation, by commercializing new technologies, by intensifying competition and by generating employment. Typically seven out of ten new employer firms last at least two years, and about half survive five years. One critical area of study is investigating the factors that contribute to the success of a new venture. Social capital and social networks are two such important determinants of entrepreneurial success. Social Capital is the sum of the actual and potential resources embedded within, available through, and derived from the network of relationships possessed by an individual or social unit (Nahapiet and Ghoshal,1998).This study investigates the relationship between the social capital of the firm , its key founders and new venture performance. The independent variables are Social Capital of the firm with its associates, Social Capital of the firm with its customers, Social Capital of the founder in entrepreneurial networks, Social Capital of the founder with his/her alumni networks and Social Capital of the founder with his/her ex-colleagues. These relationships are studied under the framework of ties, trust, obligation and expectations, identification, shared language and shared values. New Venture Performance has been measured using both perceptual measures and financial measures. The perceptual measures used are Employee and Customer Retention & Founders Satisfaction with the venture’s performance. The financial measure used is Revenue normalized by the age of the firm. Data was collected through a questionnaire survey and administered to key founders of 28 software startups in Bangalore. The age of these startups ranged from 1 to 6 years. The results of correlation analysis, T-tests and Mann Whitney tests revealed that only Social Capital of the firm with its business associates and Social Capital of the founder with his/her ex-colleagues are significantly correlated with the new venture performance measured as Employee and Customer Retention. Any network is as good as the people belonging to it. Social networks will be significantly beneficial for entrepreneurial success to the extent of the ability and the willingness of the members in the network to help each other.