The impact of social network support on opportunity intention among prospective male and female entrepreneurs during 2019-nCov pandemic

Amir Emami, Shayegheh Ashourizadeh*, Mark D. Packard

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

Purpose: The novel coronavirus (nCoV) pandemic, and the challenges of social distancing, proffer a unique opportunity to re-explore the role of social network support in entrepreneurship. Applying social support theory and gender schema theory, this study aims to examine the gender-based differences in prospective entrepreneurs' reliance on their social networks in their entrepreneurial journey amid social turmoil. Design/methodology/approach: The authors collected two-stage primary survey data of prospective entrepreneurs within the pandemic's timeframe from Science and Technology Parks in Iran, one of the first countries to deal with the first, second and third waves of the 2019-nCoV virus. Findings: The findings demonstrate that female entrepreneurs rely more strongly on their social network support for guidance and encouragement, which positively affects their opportunity intention. While this effect is also seen in men, the effect size is smaller. Also, prospective female entrepreneurs were generally more dissuaded from opportunity intention by the severe perceived environmental uncertainty of the crisis than were men. Originality/value: Prior research on the interaction between social network support and opportunity intentions has been examined in the context of socio-economic normalcy. The authors test whether, how and why these interactions hold in times of crisis, with especial attention to the mechanisms of experienced stress, perceived environmental uncertainty and idea innovativeness.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)132-169
Number of pages38
JournalInternational Journal of Entrepreneurial Behaviour and Research
Volume29
Issue number11
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2023

Keywords

  • COVID-19 pandemic
  • Gender
  • Nascent entrepreneur
  • Opportunity intention
  • Perceived environmental uncertainty
  • Social network support

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