Scientific importance and impact

This project is of theoretical and empirical significance to the scientific community. The theoretical importance of this study lies in demonstrating that whereas entrepreneurs’ social capital enables them to secure resources, which in turn enhance firm performance, the leadership attributes of the entrepreneurs are important in enhancing their social capital. This relationship may be further affected by the context in which the entrepreneur operates. Most entrepreneurship studies on the relationship between social capital, resource assembly and firm performance have ignored the role of entrepreneurial leadership. This study theoretically demonstrates the importance of entrepreneurial leadership as an antecedent of these established relationships, hence challenging the established causal relationships between social capital, resource acquisition, and firm performance that ignore entrepreneurial leadership and context.

Empirically, this study is of importance in helping the scientific community to better understand entrepreneurship in emerging economies. Despite the distinct economic, political, cultural and other characteristics that distinguish emerging economies from Western countries of North America and Europe, emerging economies have received less research focus in entrepreneurship research (Bruton et al. 2008, Hoskisson et al. 2000). Instead, conclusions on entrepreneurship have been made based on studies on Western economies. Our research project therefore, is important in that it will improve the knowledge of the scientific community on entrepreneurship based on context-ground research in emerging economies, particularly those in Sub-Saharan Africa. Such research will improve the awareness among the scientific community about strategies used by entrepreneurs in emerging economies.