Social Capital and Venture Creation: Identifying Entrepreneurial Opportunities in the Chinese Digital Game Industry

Gejun Huang


This article explores how entrepreneurs in the Chinese digital game industry initiate their venture creation by investigating the relationship between their social capital and key steps of identifying entrepreneurial opportunities in the premarket entry stage: opportunity recognition and opportunity evaluation. Drawing on semistructured interviews with 33 gaming entrepreneurs in Shanghai, the findings show that social capital plays a minor role in their recognition of opportunities, whereas it substantially affects their opportunity evaluation. These entrepreneurs adopt varied approaches to accessing and mobilizing social capital given their situated industry sectors. Those who focus on commercial game products or services prioritize specific members of professional networks, while those on indie and fledgling game products and services rely more on diverse ones. Such a difference in networking practices is subject to the industry’s overarching dynamics.


Gaming entrepreneur, social capital, opportunity recognition, opportunity evaluation, Chinese digital game industry

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