During our class entrepreneurship and networks we are getting familiar with networks as a part of social capital and how entrepreneurs can benefit from their social capital. First I will describe the outcomes of social capital as described by Nan Lin in his article, then I will link practice to theory and elaborate on how his social capital has affected his enterprise.
Lin (1999) states that there are two types of outcomes as a result of social capital, instrumental outcomes and expressive outcomes. The instrumental part comes down to adding something to your resources, like education, a better job, promotion or salary increase. Whereas the basis premis of the expressive part is all about protecting and maintaining your resources, through (mental) health, social support, friends and family.
The entrepreneur (Jimmy) that will be discussed is a friend of mine who has his own clothing line. When I asked Jimmy how his social capital has benefited his enterprise, he told me his social capital had made him able to realize his dream and start his company. He had some money at the start of his business opportunity, but this wasn’t nearly enough so his parents gave him financial support. This is an example of an added resource, which makes it an instrumental outcome of his social capital. He also showed me his website, he told me he didn’t have any experience in setting up a proper website for his brand. That is why he asked a friend to create a proper website for him in exchange for a friendly prize, this was something he added to his resources, that is why this is also an instrumental outcome.
An example of an expressive outcome can be found in the moral support he received from his friends and family. First when he was drawing up plans to realize his dream of starting his clothing line he was a little bit restrained after seeing how much work there was needed to be done. But his parents and his girlfriend told him he needed to push through and chase his dream to make it reality. After having an inspiring pep talk from his dad, he decided that he wanted to push through and eventually realized his dream. Though his company isn’t a big success yet he returned a minor profit last year, which he is hoping to expand this year. This outcome can be labeled as an expressive outcome, because his support helped him protect and maintain his resources.
This shows how Jimmy’s social capital had helped him realize his dream.
Till next time,
Chris Boer, 1988342