Volume 12 Issue 5/6 December 2015 Applied Research Notes 2

Teresa Costa
School of Business Administration
ESCE/Polytechnic Institute of Setúbal

Simone Galina
School of Economics, Business and Accountancy of Ribeirão Preto
University of São Paulo


Research efforts are mostly focused on understanding the characteristics and business practices of established companies. Consequently, the study of factors determining the success of businesses, specifically in terms of social capital, appears to be relevant. The subject of this paper is the importance of social capital in rural tourism business. Through a case study methodology, the study aims to understand the relationship between social networks, resources accessed and social capital in the creation and development of rural tourism business. The results suggest that in the cases studied the informal and formal networks of entrepreneurs are crucial in mobilizing financial and non-financial resources. Regarding structural dimensions of social capital, it was possible to verify similarities in the creation of new business, such as simple configuration, familiar and informal management adopted. The complexity seems to increase with business development. Both relational and cognitive dimensions are relevant at different stages of the business. As the business grows and creates value, there is a greater identification between entrepreneurs and community, increasing the legitimacy of the business and the entrepreneurial culture of the community.

Keywords: Entrepreneurship, social networks, social capital, rural tourism, case study.

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