A central issue running throughout the case study is the question of how social networks give direction to economic careers and influence decisions to combine or switch between branches of economic activity. I am especially interested in showing how specific social networks, once established, become a constraint as well as a positive influence on future decisions. New economic investments emerge out of a set of social investments in personal relations, which themselves generate new or modified sets. A person’s ability to combine different branches of economic activity and to develop certain entrepreneurial careers is thus crucially affected by the content of existing personal networks. Such networks are significant not only because they may provide access to essential resources such as capital or labour, but also for the flow of information and for the support they may offer for various courses of action. Certain aspects of a person’s network may be pre-selected by family and community background, but other aspects must be developed from scratch, such as those based on friendship or occupational criteria.