An exploratory study of Israeli start-up entrepreneur usage of the Internet

S. Shoham, S. Baruchson‐Arbib, OS Gouri

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Internet usage and its evaluation as a source of information, compared to traditional information sources, were examined among 92 entrepreneurs of Israeli start-ups. Entrepreneurs' independent versus mediated use in internet searches was also examined. Ninety percent of the entrepreneurs in this study described the internet as an important tool, while 71% believed that they were skilled in the use of the internet, despite the fact that they primarily used basic internet services including access of a repertoire of websites and search engines. Findings of the study indicate that the internet plays a significant role in entrepreneurs' search activities, compared to traditional sources of information. Thus, the study findings reflect a change in entrepreneurial search practices and a shift toward a use of the internet. Entrepreneurs who perceived themselves as highly skilled in internet searches, tended to perform independent searches rather than rely on mediators. The convenience, accessibility and anonymity of the internet, as well as the wealth of available informative data at no cost, contributed to this pattern of findings. Additionally, the internet contains diverse information which meets the needs of entrepreneurs, especially in the venture conception phase. Entrepreneurs in this stage have minimal cash resources and, according to Kirzner's theory of ‘alertness,' tend to seek out all possible information rather than conduct more focused searches.
Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)49-62
JournalJournal of Information Science
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2006


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