The virtuous relationship between entrepreneurship and social capital: a study on tourism rural businesses in Portugal and Brazil

Teresa Costa, Simone Galina

Abstract


This study aims to understand the relationship between social capital and the creation and development of enterprises in rural tourism. Through a case study research strategy, the study aims to understand the social networks used by entrepreneurs, resources accessed and important aspects related to the dimensions of social capital (in creation and development phases of the entrepreneurial projects). The results suggest that in the cases studied the informal and formal networks owned by entrepreneurs are crucial in mobilizing financial and non-financial resources, and in general, the informal network is crucial in mobilizing non-economic resources, and, in the Brazilian cases, also important in mobilizing financial resources. Regarding the structural dimension of social capital, it was possible to verify similarities in the creation phase, such as simple configuration, familiar and informal management adopted. There are, however, some evidence of an increasing complexity in projects with high growth during the development phase. Concerning the relational dimension and cognitive dimension both are relevant at different stages of entrepreneurial projects. As the projects are growing and creating value, there is a greater identification between entrepreneurs, and community organizations and local players, increasing the legitimacy of the enterprise and the entrepreneurial culture of the community.

Keywords


Entrepreneurship, social capital, social networks, rural tourism,

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