Our research programme revolves around Entrepreneurship and Society: how entrepreneurial behaviour at the level of individuals, organisations, and economies creates value to society at large, and how such behaviour can be explained and leveraged by decision-makers.

We take a multidisciplinary research perspective starting from economics, but with strong connections to management, psychology, sociology, geography and public policy. We are keen on new phenomena in the area of Entrepreneurship and Society, but also do hypothesis-driven research.

Our research programme covers:

  • Entrepreneurial ecosystems. Entrepreneurship takes place in a context and is a mechanism for realising prosperity in society. The entrepreneurial economy can be seen as a complex evolving system: an entrepreneurial ecosystem. Working with a network of global researchers and stakeholders we build a transdisciplinary research programme for understanding how entrepreneurial ecosystems develop. We have developed an entrepreneurial ecosystem framework for analysis and action to improve each economy in its own way.
  • Innovation and entrepreneurship behaviour. We explore how individuals (consumers, employees) create societal value by engaging in innovation and entrepreneurship, how organisations can leverage this behaviour, and how policy makers can intervene. Research topics include open and user innovation, corporate entrepreneurship, intrapreneurship, crowdsourcing, consumer co-creation and marketing, technology adoption and modification, online platforms and business models, and business development based on innovative consumer behaviour.
  • Social and sustainable entrepreneurship. In the context of global societal challenges caused by e.g. rising inequality, migration, and global warming, new ways of doing business emerge which prioritise social value creation and contribute positively to society. Collaboration and innovation are key elements. Together with societal partners we develop an ‘economics of social entrepreneurship’ programme; a fresh perspective that specifies an alternative view of value creation via social entrepreneurship.
  • Entrepreneurship and internationalisation. In the digital era entrepreneurship increasingly crosses borders, where investors and corporations detect opportunities, find partners and operate in global value chains. This trend allows firms to better access information but too much internationalisation may lead to excessive risk-taking behaviour in uncertain environments. Amongst others we look at governance issues in internationalisation, corporate behaviour under uncertainty, and the role of institutions for financial, corporate and entrepreneurial success.

We hold key positions in major global academic communities such as the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor, the Global Entrepreneurship Network, the Open and User Innovation Society  and the European Social Enterprise Monitor. In addition to our academic work, we also frequently engage with business and policy practice. We are also an important contributor the Utrecht University Social Entrepreneurship Initiative, the European Center for Alternative Finance and the Sustainable Finance Lab.

(interim) Head of Section

Research staff and lecturers