It is not what you know – it is who you know! A study of networking among Mexican women entrepreneurs

Nadia Masri-Pedersen & Irene Hvass

Student thesis: Master thesis


aim of this research is to add new insights to the field of Mexican women entrepreneurs. Seeing how Mexico is one of the most entrepreneurial countries in the world it is interesting to investigate the particular segment of women entrepreneurs. However, although entrepreneurship is widespread in Mexico, in-depth research within many aspects of women entrepreneurship is still missing. More specifically we have chosen to approach this research through a specific analysis of the women entrepreneurs’ networking activity since we believe that the way they interact in their networks is essential for their success as entrepreneurs. By applying a theoretical framework consisting of networking as well as social capital theories we set out to investigate “How do the Mexican women entrepreneurs use the different institutions in their networks and do they benefit from the social capital embedded in these networks?”. Since the available data in Denmark was not sufficient for us to carry out an in-depth analysis we decided to take a field trip to Mexico in search for more information. The fieldwork research enabled us to provide empirical evidence that supplement the already existing data in the field of women entrepreneurs. Furthermore, our research has the task of highlighting tendencies in the aspect of networking in the women’s business conduct as well as encouraging further studies in this particular field. Among our main findings, we discovered that Mexican women entrepreneurs use their strong networks extensively in their networking activity. More specifically, the family, and in particular the husband, is the institution that the women turn the most to in order to obtain resources such as support (both personal as well as business-related), financial help and encouragement. In their networking activity the women interact through bonding with their strong ties; thus minimising the focus of bridging and linking to weak ties. Surprisingly, the women we investigated used their weak network ties actively, yet we indicate that the weak ties have a tendency of being of homogeneous nature. This limits the diversity in the types of social capital the women could make benefit from. In order to get the maximum benefit from these resources in the networks the Mexican women entrepreneurs must be more conscious of amplifying the type of institutions they use and the way they use them as well as interact actively in order to establish trust. The more invested in the trust and consolidation of the networks the greater the rewards of social capital from such can be.

EducationsMSc in Business, Language and Culture, (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis
Publication date2009
Number of pages140