Title: Bridging voids: constraints on Hispanic entrepreneurs building social capital

Authors: Ruth Clarke; Ramdas Chandra

Addresses: H. Wayne Huizenga School of Business and Entrepreneurship, Nova Southeastern University, 3301 College Ave, Fort Lauderdale-Davie FL 33314, USA ' H. Wayne Huizenga School of Business and Entrepreneurship, Nova Southeastern University, 3301 College Ave, Fort Lauderdale-Davie FL 33314, USA

Abstract: This study uses social capital theory and strategic entrepreneurship theory to examine the extent to which Hispanic immigrant entrepreneurs create and employ social capital in their firms. Using a modified instrument originally created by the World Bank to measure social capital, we evaluate the amount and different dimensions of social capital possessed by a sample of entrepreneurs with mid to small-sized businesses in a limited geographic area within the USA. We find low levels of social capital among our respondents. To the extent that social capital exists, the majority of it seems to be derived from Hispanic sources rather than non-Hispanic sources. Further, we find some limited evidence that non-Hispanic driven social capital positively affects growth and internationalisation. In light of these findings we discuss the issue of bridging and social capital development.

Keywords: Hispanic entrepreneurs; immigrants; immigration; social capital; networks; cultural marginality; constraints; strategic entrepreneurship; World Bank; United States; USA; Latin America; economic growth; internationalisation; bridging voids; South Florida; small and medium-sized enterprises; SMEs.

DOI: 10.1504/IJESB.2011.042725

International Journal of Entrepreneurship and Small Business, 2011 Vol.14 No.2, pp.286 - 302

Available online: 28 Sep 2011 *

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