Embeddedness or Over-Embeddedness? Women Entrepreneurs’ Networks and Their Influence on Business Performance

Lavlu Mozumdar*, Geoffrey Hagelaar, Valentina C. Materia, S.W.F. Omta, Mohammad A. Islam, Gerben van der Velde

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

25 Citations (Scopus)


We analyse in what ways network embeddedness may influence the business performance of women entrepreneurs working in a socially constrained context. Data were collected through a survey sent to 292 women entrepreneurs engaged in handicraft businesses in Bangladesh. Results from multiple regression models show that, next to entrepreneurial orientation, financial capital and business experience, a small network is positively related, while medium-sized and large networks are negatively related, to performance. In-depth analysis reveals that a small bonding ties network is positively, while a medium-sized bonding ties network is negatively, and a large bonding ties network is not, statistically related to performance. Based on this, we assume that the networks of many women entrepreneurs may be over-embedded, because of too extensive connections with family and friends. Apparently, the over-embeddedness proposition of Uzzi (Am Sociol Rev 61:674–698, 1996) proves to be valid for women entrepreneurs operating under socially constrained circumstances in a developing country.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1449-1469
JournalEuropean Journal of Development Research
Issue number5
Early online date10 May 2019
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2019


  • Business performance
  • Network (over-)embeddedness
  • Socially constrained context
  • Women entrepreneurs


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