Influence of Entrepreneurial Networking on Small Enterprise Success: A Service Industry Perspective (Published)
The increasing use of networks for Small and Micro Enterprise has been reported as a factor of influents in development process of entrepreneurial activity. In Kenya Small and Micro enterprises account for over 70% of the enterprises. They are a source of livelihood of low income earners and also a major source of innovation in creating new products technologies and services. Entrepreneurial networking includes the linkages and connectivity through which entrepreneurs obtain information resources, knowledge and social support about market opportunities. While network relationships have been recognized as indispensable for SMEs to the achievement of growth, a particular focus on entrepreneurial networks in the service industry has been limited. The main objective of the study was to examine the influence of firm’s entrepreneurial networking and its influence on the success of Small and Micro enterprises in Eldoret Town in Uasin Gishu County. The study utilized exploratory survey design. Specific objectives were: to examine the relationship between entrepreneurial networks and enterprise success, and to determine the relationship between entrepreneurial ties and enterprise success. Small and Micro business owners in the service industry were divided into a sample and a simple random technique was employed whereas sample of 240 SMEs in the service was drawn from a target population of 600 registered SMEs in the service sector, Eldoret Town, Uasin Gishu County. The study was guided by Relational Theory of Social Networks. Data was sorted coded and analyzed using inferential statistics as: Pearson’s product moment correlation, Chi-Square methods and Analysis of variance (ANOVA) and multiple regressions. The study found out that, there was a strong positive relationship between networking [r=.683] and ties [r=.559] on entrepreneurial success. This indicated that an increase in networks and ties will lead to greator entrepreneurial success. It is hoped that the results of this study will assist to sharpen entrepreneurs’ skills and policy formulation and development of entrepreneurial networking.
Keywords: Entrepreneur, Entrepreneurial Networks, Micro business, Networking, Service Industry, Small Business, Social Capital and Resources.