Entrepreneur: do social capital and culture matter?

  • Isabel Neira
  • Nuria CalvoEmail author
  • Loreto Fernández
  • Marta Portela


This paper analyzes the effect of the individual perceptions of social capital and culture in entrepreneurial aspirations before and after the economic crisis in Western Europe. Following the approach of the Theory of Planned Behavior (Ajzen in Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, 50, 179–211, 1991), we advance the analysis of the effect of the perception of subjective norms in the entrepreneurial intentions. We studied the Total Early-Stage Entrepreneurial Activity (TEA) of twelve countries in 2006 and 2010. The results reveal that the perception of having social networks is significant for the TEA, and it increases after the economic crisis. However, the cultural factors do not have a significant impact, except the one related with the perception of social equality. The results obtained through the double perspective of this analysis (individual’s social capital vs cultural factor of individualistic perspective) offers a certain dilemma when we try to understand the entrepreneurial intntion through the individual’s perception of subjective norms, following the Ajzen’s model. The more individualist is a person, the lower the weight of its social capital. However, the more a person has access to social networks, the greater his entrepreneurial intention will be. This result opens future lines of research focused on understanding the value of the individual’s social capital for different countries and groups of entrepreneurs.

Graphical abstract


Individual’s social capital Total early-stage entrepreneurial activity Human capital Entrepreneurial culture Country effect 

JEL classifications

L26 L29 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Isabel Neira
    • 1
  • Nuria Calvo
    • 2
    Email author
  • Loreto Fernández
    • 3
  • Marta Portela
    • 4
  1. 1.Department of Applied EconomicsUniversity of Santiago de Compostela. Avda. do Burgo s/nSantiago de CompostelaSpain
  2. 2.Department of Economic Analysis and Business AdministrationUniversity of A Coruña, Campus de Elviña s/nA CoruñaSpain
  3. 3.Department of Finance and AccountingUniversity of Santiago de Compostela, Avda. do Burgo s/nSantiago de CompostelaSpain
  4. 4.Department of Finance and AccountingUniversity of Santiago de Compostela. Avda. Alfonso X O Sabio s/nLugoSpain

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