This week for the course of Enterpreneurship Networks I interviewed and entrepreneur asking about embeddedness and what that means to him and to what extend he is embedded and whether he is overembedded or not.
After explaining what embeddedness is, I interviewed an owner of a small grocery store, which sells food like sandwiches butt also cigarettes and chewing gum etcetera. The business is in the same street as where I live and doesn’t exist for that long yet, somewhat over half a year, and for me a perfect opportunity to also get to learn the entrepreneur behind this business.
This entrepreneur told me he was well embedded, had enough people around him he can trust and told me at this point he didn’t need to have more embeddedness with the network he works with. It is a rather small business, easy to run with his family and business partner. The trust he has with these people and the help he gets with the problems to solve is enough for him. I tried to explain what the benefits might be if he would create more embeddedness among the suppliers for instance and he said he never really thought about this and he would try to reconsider creating a better relationship with the suppliers. He especially seemed interested in the fact that it would be easier to make appointments with the suppliers maybe more that would fit his schedule better, and of course the possible discount.
Right now he doesn’t see the risk of overembeddedness since most of his contacts are family and he knows he can trust them completely, but he did say that it might of course be risk for him, especially because the business is so small, so he think he is dependant from his network faster then bigger businesses.
This entrepreneur does perceive embeddedness as quite paradoxical. He understands that if he would be to expend in some way he would need a bigger network and probably also keep the network close, but not to close.
So this entrepreneur has not yet reached the stage of overembeddedness because the business is still very young but sees and understands the problem.