"Who do you know?" Developing and Analyzing Entrepreneur Networks: An Analysis of the Entrepreneurial Environment of Kampala, Uganda
MILITARY ACADEMY WEST POINT NY NETWORK SCIENCE CENTER (NSC)
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Our research goal is to quantify the entrepreneurial network in such a way that the analysis provides concrete policy recommendations. Our Center has experimented with several data collection methodologies and we have developed an innovative yet simple technique that allows us to develop quantifiable entrepreneur networks. Our innovation is not to develop each individual entrepreneurs network, but to understand the entire entrepreneurial network of the community in which the entrepreneur lives and operates. To develop this model, we have adapted a technique used in sociology to measure social capital called the Position Generator Lin Dumin, 1986 Lin et Al, 2001. This technique circumvents the massive effort of mapping an individuals social network before locating the social resources in it. By approaching the entrepreneurs network through the analysis of his connections to prominent structural positions in the community or society, researchers are able to construct measures that obtain information on the strength of ties and structural holes Lin, 2001. For example, in a developing world entrepreneurial network these roles might include a nongovernmental organization, a government program, or a family member. Sequential to this effort, we will designate a goal network, an entrepreneurial environment that is considered to be especially conducive for successful Small and Medium Enterprise SME establishment. We will construct a network model using the same methodology and then mathematically determine which nodes in the network of interest are the driver nodes. By influencing these nodes, or their links to other nodes, we can encourage the network of interest to evolve towards the propitious centrality metrics of the goal network. The quantitative findings from this methodology will determine specific policy recommendations for each network based on its own specific centrality metrics.
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