How the Role of Female Entrepreneurs' Social Network Changes from Start-up to Establishment Phase: Case Study of Export Sector

Document Type : Research Paper


1 Professor, Entrepreneurship Faculty, University of Tehran, Iran

2 MA. Student, Entrepreneurship Faculty, University of Tehran, Iran


The ability to develop and maintain an effective network is one of the entrepreneurial competencies. Despite recognition of the value of networking, there has been little research into the networks of female entrepreneurs. Current evidences indicate the differences between men and women’s networking and in part, women’s weakness to creat and maintain entrepreneurial networking compared to that on men. Considering that a majority of previous researches have seen social network as a static not dynamic object, this article aims at studing the dynamics of the role of female entrepreneurs’ social network at different stages of the business life cycle including new and stablished businesses. This article presents findings drawing upon qualitative research conducted in Tehran, Iran, through 10 semi-structured interviews among female entrepreneurs who export goods and services and their businesses are at least 5 years old to make sure they have experienced both new and established business. The findings showed providing access to opportunities, information and resources is the most important role of social network for Iranian female entrepreneurs in both new and stablished businesses.