THE ROLE OF SOCIAL CAPITAL IN ECONOMIC LIFE OF THE UKRAINIAN ENTREPRENEURS IN CZECHIA
This article presents the concept of social capital and highlights its use in the economic performance of Ukrainian entrepreneurs in Czechia. The social capital stands as one of the important resources, which can be used by migrant entrepreneurs in creating their own businesses and ethnic economies. The concept of social capital with its different approaches, roles and impact on society is a frequent topic of current scientific debate, particularly in connection with mass immigration to the Western countries. In our analysis we use the individual approach of social capital that goes in line with personal ties, and thus it is closely connected to mutual trust, cooperation, contacts as well as mutual aid and solidarity. Our main research question is whether the Ukrainian entrepreneurs poses social capital and how they use it in their business activities. The article is founded on qualitative research based on 16 in-depth semi-structured interviews with Ukrainian entrepreneurs and key actors of the Ukrainian community in Czechia. We conclude that the Ukrainians do not use their social capital to the available extent. The networks of contacts exist among the Ukrainian entrepreneurs, but their use for economic cooperation is rather limited, which seems to be caused by their low level of trust. The mutual solidarity presented in private life and in economic activities does not play a significant role. Moreover, due to the absence of social capital, Ukrainian entrepreneurs have not yet developed their ethnic economy in Czechia.
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