Network Catalysts to Small Businesses: A Strategy for Fragmented Industries


  • Suzanne Loker Cornell University
  • L. Susan Stark San Francisco State University
  • Judy Sasser-Watkins Regional Training Institute


The catalyst roles played by the New York City's Garment Industry Development Corporation (GIDC) and San Francisco's Garment 2000, two non-profit organizations providing services to the apparel industry, were analyzed using a network perspective. The networks of apparel businesses in the two cities were advanced by GIDC and Garment 2000 through their structures and strategies, including building trust, providing easy entry and exit mechanisms to network members, offering dynamic programming, and establishing partnerships with other organizations serving the apparel industry. The loosely structured business networks in the apparel industry and other fragmented industries benefit from catalyst organizations that can increase communication across the memberships, identify and address needs of member businesses, and seek funding to support programs. Implications for businesses that want to initiate catalyst organizations to serve small business networks in other industries are discussed.


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How to Cite

Network Catalysts to Small Businesses: A Strategy for Fragmented Industries. (2003). Journal of Small Business Strategy (archive Only), 14(1), 53-70.