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Indu Peiris, Michèle Akoorie and Paresha Sinha

Entrepreneurial actions need to be financed either through external means or internally by the entrepreneur. However, obtaining debt and equity for a new venture may be extremely difficult for nascent entrepreneurs due to their lack of a track record, lack of experience, and no collateral. In this chapter we look at how entrepreneurs exploit their social capital using a bootstrapping strategy to bridge this resource gap. Using case study methodology we analyse six indigenous tea exporters in the Sri Lankan tea industry to investigate the underlying factors that led to successful exploitation of external social capital to access bootstrap resources. We provide insights into why and how entrepreneurs use social capital as a bootstrapping strategy and what brought the entrepreneurs and external networks together to create new resource configurations.