Entrepreneurship & Networks
Hello readers! It’s already the penultimate weekly assignment of this course. The subject of this week’s assignment is association membership and how it can play a significant role in entrepreneurship. In order to hear a real-life experience of entrepreneurs about association membership I re-invited the entrepreneur of last week, the website designer (male, 29 years old).
The young male entrepreneur is a member of three associations, two civic & social associations and one professional association. The associations are a football club, Dutch Nile and WebProfessionals, respectively. Dutch Nile is a youth association that aims to create solidarity among the Egyptian youth in the Netherlands to add value to the society. WebProfessionals.org aka the World Organization of Webmasters (WOW) on the other hand, is a non-profit professional association dedicated to the support of individuals and organizations who create, manage or market web sites. According to the entrepreneur, all three associations have played their parts in his enterprise. The resources obtained from the football club are mainly categorized in moral support from his friends. “My football team and I are very close friends of each other and they always cheered me up when my enterprise wasn’t running at the beginning and they always encouraged me to go on and to believe in myself. They really helped me.” So the moral support of his friends had positive outcomes for his enterprise. Next to being a member of a football club, the entrepreneur was a member of the management board of Dutch Nile. He maintained their website and gained clients for his enterprise from the Egyptian community. The website designer told me that through his experience at Dutch Nile he definitely broadened his network and gained resources varying from clients to employees, which in turn resulted in the outcomes status (as a professional website designer) and wealth. The last association the entrepreneur is a member of is WebProfessionals. According to him this association was of most interest for his enterprise, which is not completely in line with Teckchandani’s theory. Teckchandani states that civil & social association are of higher value for entrepreneurs than business & professional associations. The website designer however, got the most important resources (knowledge and information, certificates, business partners) from this association, which resulted in status, prestige and wealth.
So keep in mind, association membership indeed adds a great value to entrepreneurship!
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