Networking is a socioeconomic business activity by which business people and entrepreneurs meet to form business relationships and to recognize, create, or act upon business opportunities, share information and seek potential partners for ventures.
In the second half of the twentieth century, the concept of networking was promoted to help business people to build their social capital. In the US, workplace equity advocates encouraged business networking by members of marginalized groups (e.g. women, African-American, etc.) to identify and address the challenges barring them from professional success. Mainstream business literature subsequently adopted term and concept in American society. In the 2000s, “networking” has expanded beyond its roots as a business practice to the point that parents meeting to share child-rearing tips to scientist meeting research colleagues are described as engaging in “networking”.
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