The surprising lack of connection between social networks and the enterprise success of ultra-religious female micro-entrepreneurs

Yisca Monnickendam-Givon, Dafna Schwartz, Benjamin Gidron

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Purpose: The utilization of social networks is known to have an impact on micro-enterprise success. This study aims to examine the contribution of social networks in acquiring resources and their role in the enterprise’s success. Design/methodology/approach: A business’s success is influenced by its network structure and the network’s resources. The authors examine whether unique religious-cultural characteristics affect the social networks contribution to a business’s success. This model examines the network utilization of women entrepreneurs who own micro-enterprises in ultra-religious groups. The sample consists of 123 surveys completed by Jewish ultra-Orthodox women entrepreneurs in Israel. Data collection was conducted between February and June 2013. The authors used a snowball sampling approach where interviewees were asked to refer us to other entrepreneurs. In the hour-long interview, a questionnaire was used with open and closed questions. Findings: Findings indicate that strong personal ties provide a micro-enterprise with social legitimacy, emotional support and assistance in the management and operation of daily activities. However, contrary to the existing literature, network utilization did not contribute to enterprise success. That is, in religious communities in particular, social networks enable the existence of businesses, but do not contribute to their success. Practical implications: The practical implications of this paper are the mapping of the social network resources used by the business owner, such as financial consultations or professional assistance, as well as distinguishing between strong and weak ties, which reflect the intensity of the contact for better use of the social network by the entrepreneurs. Originality/value: This study examined social networks’ contribution to the acquisition of resources, as well as the part they play in the success of ultra-orthodox women micro-entrepreneurs and perhaps other religious and minorities groups.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)395-415
Number of pages21
JournalJournal of Enterprising Communities
Issue number3
StatePublished - 8 Aug 2018


  • Entrepreneurship
  • Micro-enterprises
  • Social networks
  • Ultra-orthodox Jews
  • Ultra-orthodox females
  • Ultra-religious/extremely religious

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Business and International Management
  • Economics and Econometrics
  • Strategy and Management


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