Granada International Doctoral Summer School in Entrepreneurship Research (GIDSSER)

The Granada International Doctoral Summer School in Entrepreneurship Research (GIDSSER) took place in Granada (Spain), on June 14-17, 2022. The summer school was addressed to PhD students and early career researchers, with the aim to provide them with an opportunity to expand their knowledge and understanding of entrepreneurship as a societal phenomenon, by learning and receiving feedback for their projects from renowned scholars in the field of entrepreneurship.

The summer school was organised by a group of professors and researchers of the Department of Business Administration I of the University of Granada (UGR). With the collaboration of UGR Emprendedora and GEM (Global Entrepreneurship Monitor) Spain, and thanks to the financial support of ECSB, UGR International School for Postgraduate Studies, the UGR School of Business and Administration, and its Unit of Excellence, GIDSSER gathered 29 international participants coming from 13 countries and 26 universities. Among the 29 participants, 23 were doctoral students, 4 early career researchers and 2 were professors. Within the first group, 5 students were granted with a scholarship covering the expenses for the registration fee.

The programme was structured around master lectures in the morning, focused on 5 hot topics, and workshop sessions in the afternoon, as a space for the participants to present and discuss their projects with a specialist scholar, and also with their peers. Prof. Ted Baker chaired the workshop sessions on context in entrepreneurship studies, and inequality and entrepreneurship, prof. Matthew Grimes on social entrepreneurship, prof. Jeffrey York on sustainability, prof. Miruna Radu-Lefebvre on founder identity, and prof. Claire Leitch on entrepreneurship and gender. A meet-the-editors session was also included, with the participation of prof. Miruna Radu-Lefebvre (editor of Entrepreneurship and Regional Development), and prof. Juan Pablo Maicas (editor of Business Research Quarterly). Finally, all the attendees participated in a session about how to write a research paper taught by prof. Jeffrey York.

GIDSSER had two venues, representing respectively the newest flagship and the most ancient heritage of the University of Granada. The first two days the event took place in Breaker UGR, the disruptive entrepreneurial space of the university, while the second part of the programme was developed in the beautiful Carmen de la Victoria, located in the quarter of the Albayzín, a legacy of the Al-Andalus period.

In both spaces, GIDSSER was developed in a stimulating and lively atmosphere, with a high level of participation from the young researchers, who demonstrated in every session their involvement with entrepreneurship research, through their questions to the speakers and the constructive comments and feedback offered to their colleagues.

Participants were also able to enjoy several social activities, which complemented the academic programme. A wine tasting in the emblematic Corrala de Santiago, also part of the UGR heritage, offered the participants the opportunity to discover the link between the cinema and Granada. The walking tour in the Albayzín showed the historical and architectural evolution of the city, while providing amazing views of the Alhambra citadel and its surrounding hill.

GIDSSER has fostered the creation of new and promising networks for the development of the entrepreneurship research community. We also hope that it has opened new opportunities and provided new insights for the professional development of the young scholars who attended the event. This summer school has been an inspiring and pleasant experience not only for participants, but also for speakers and the members of the organising committee.

Authors: Matilde Ruiz and Ana Bojica (University of Granada), Coordinator and Director of GIDSSER, on behalf of the Organising Committee.

Congress of the Departments of Entrepreneurship and Innovation & ENTIME Conference in Gdańsk

The Faculty of Management and Economics of the Gdańsk University of Technology organized two events devoted to entrepreneurship. On April 20, 2022, the 4th Congress of the Departments of Entrepreneurship and Innovation, and on April 21-22, the 9th international ENTIME Conference – Entrepreneurship in Modern Economy.

The Congress gathered 40 people from various Polish universities. The guests shared their didactic experiences in the field of entrepreneurial education at the university level, assisted by prof. Alain Fayolle – undisputed authority on this topic. Both the speeches of the panelists (vice-chancellor of the University of Lodz, Prof. Agnieszka Kurczewska (ECSB president-elect), President of Excento – Mariusz Machajewski and Robert Bajko from the GUT Startup School were very well received and stimulated the discussion.

Some participants of the congress

A total of 50 people from 23 research centers, including six from abroad, participated in the ENTIME conference, following the congress. Issues related to research, related challenges and successes in the academic community were discussed.

The keynote speeches were delivered by prof. Alain Fayolle (University of Cagliari), and prof. Francisco Liñán (University of Sevilla). Those distinguished researchers talked about perspectives in entrepreneurship research, focusing on process and context, and about the specific topics in this research which are gender and sex aspects.

In addition to the traditional panels with scientific presentations, a methodological panel titled: “A bumpy road to research success. Pitfalls and traps.” was held: in which both the participants registered for the conference and all those willing to participate, with access to the Internet, could participate.

Panelists: prof. Wojciech Czakon, prof. Milena Ratajczak-Mrozek, prof. Przemysław Hensel and prof. Krzysztof Zięba shared their experiences in scientific work, pointing to both its highlights and shadows. It was an amazing lesson for young (and not only) researching that what they see in the media are only successes, but everyone also notes failures. It’s just that he doesn’t boast about them too often. This panel was recorded and placed on the YouTube channel, so it is possible to play it at any time (link). All presentations as well as the panel were delivered in English.

The conference was co-financed by the ECSB – European Council for Small Business and Entrepreneurship.

The honorary patronage over the event was taken by the Marshal of the Pomeranian Voivodeship, Mieczysław Struk, and the Rector of the Gdańsk University of Technology, prof. Krzysztof Wilde.

Author: Julita Wasilczuk, Gdańsk University of Technology

5th Paper Development Seminar (5PDS) on Entrepreneurial Process Research

On April 25th-26th, 2022, the 5th Paper Development Seminar (5PDS) on Entrepreneurial Process Research was held at the Faculty of Economics and Business Sciences (FCEyE) of the University of Seville (US).

This 2022 edition brought together some of the most prestigious researchers and editors of international scientific journals in the field of entrepreneurship. Specifically, we were accompanied by:

  • Robert Blackburn, Professor at the University of Liverpool, and the Editor-in-Chief of the International Small Business Journal.
  • Marco van Gelderen, from Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, and editorial board member at Journal of Business Venturing and Entrepreneurship Theory & Practice.
  • Ulla Hytti, Professor of Entrepreneurship at the School of Economics, University of Turku (Finland), and Associate Editor at Entrepreneurship & Reginal Development and Research Editor at Entrepreneurship Education & Pedagogy.
  • Ute Stephan, Professor of Entrepreneurship at King’s College London and an Editor at Entrepreneurship Theory & Practice and Consulting Editor at the Journal of International Business Studies.

In addition to the presence of this distinguished group of editors, a total of 30 participants and researchers from different EU countries as well as Spain registered for the seminar, who, in addition to participating in the different plenary sessions, presented their research papers, which were reviewed and commented on, and received suggestions from the different experts in the seminar sessions.

Organised by the US, the 5PDS local organizing committee is chaired by Francisco Liñán, Full Professor of the Department of Applied Economics I at the US. It has benefitted from the support by:

  • The European Council for Small Business and Entrepreneurship (ECSB)
  • “Instituto Tomás Mercado de Economía y Negocios” (IUSEN) at the US
  • The Department of Applied Economics I of the US
  • The PYMED research group (US)
  • The nationally funded project “TIC Empresari@s” (Ref. PID-2019 110166GB-100)

Thanks to the support from the ECSB, a Best Paper Award has been granted to one of the participants. The award includes a free 1-year membership to the ECSB. The plenary speakers, together with the local organizing committee, decided on the Best Paper Award, which was granted to the paper entitled “Are entrepreneurs more upwardly mobile?”, co-authored by Matthew J. Lindquist and Theodor Vladasel.

Given the quality of the papers presented, two runners-up awards were also granted to the following papers “How does universities’ entrepreneurial support nature entrepreneurship among doctoral students”, co-authored by Matteo Opizzi and Michela Loi, and “How do female loan officers manage loan portfolios? Evidence for loans to entrepreneurs in a microfinance institution”, co-authored by Aurora Samaniego, Antonio Blanco-Oliver and María-José Palacin-Sanchez.

5PDS participants
Participants of the 5PDS

The 5PDS included a social programme to facilitate networking and community building. On the evening of the first day, a guided tour throughout the city took place. The participants had the opportunity to know some of Seville history, the fist location of the University of Seville upon foundation in 1505, and even the origins of the city emblem (NO8DO). At the end of the tour, the participants enjoyed a roof-top cocktail dinner with magnificent views over the Guadalquivir River and Seville’s old town.

Author: Francisco Liñán, Professor, University of Seville, head of the 5PDS Local Organizing Committee.

3rd Conducting Experiments in Entrepreneurship Research Workshop

Two weeks ago (February 22-24, 2022), the University of Groningen Centre for Entrepreneurship hosted the ECSB co-branded event “Conducting Experiments in Entrepreneurship Research Workshop.” In this workshop for young scholars, we focused on the use of experimental designs to study entrepreneurship. We received submissions on a wide variety of theoretical topics, and all papers used an experimental design to test their hypotheses. This was already the third edition, and the second time we hosted it fully online!

On the first day of the workshop, we started with a welcoming session, in which the organizers and ECSB President Ulla Hytti welcomed everyone to the workshop. During the opening session, we took a moment to celebrate the fact that several participants are very active members of the Conducting Experiments in Entrepreneurship Research (CEER) network. These participants have participated in all editions of the workshop and actively engage with the resources the network has to offer. They took a moment to share their experiences with the other participants:

During these three days, we got inspired by keynote sessions by Basil Englis (Berry College, USA), Matthew Wood (Baylor University, USA) and Sharon Simmons (Jackson State University, USA). On Tuesday, Basil brought all participants on the same page regarding experimental designs with his keynote “So, … what is an experiment anyway?” On the second day of the workshop, Matthew discussed ecological validity and shared his experience as an author and an editor in publishing experiments. On the third day of the workshop, Sharon took us on a tour through the many choices we need to make when designing experiments.

After the keynote presentations, we organized parallel paper presentation sessions in which we discussed over 22 papers using experiments as a methodology. Because we strive to keep a small-scale setting at the workshop, it is possible to allocate 30 minutes to every paper, allowing time for presentation and feedback. Every paper is assigned a peer reviewer and it also receives feedback from an expert (workshop facilitators) present in each session. This allows participants to receive extensive and concrete feedback on their work, enabling them to have clear guidelines on how to keep working on their papers. In this edition of the workshop, we were honored to have the presence of Magdalena Cholakova, Paula Englis, Yuval Engel, Eva Jakob, Susana Santos, Mark Schenkel, Silke Tegtmeier and Dominika Wach as workshop facilitators.

CEER 2022 Keynote speakers and Workshop Facilitators

We were happy to host a “meet the SI editors” with Sílvia Costa, Susana Santos, Silke Tegtmeier and Mark Schenkel for the Special Issue on “Experimental Designs to Address Current Challenges in Entrepreneurship Education Research” at the journal Entrepreneurship Education & Pedagogy. They shared with more information about the special issue the audience and answered questions.

To facilitate and stimulate networking among the participants, we organized “speed meetings” in which participants had the opportunity to meet an expert in a one-on-one setting for about 20 minutes. Many participants loved this new addition to the CEER format.

We have enlarged our network with more than 60 participants representing 23 countries! It is great to see the community of entrepreneurship scholars that use experimental designs grow! We look forward to reading all the great experiments presented during the workshop in print soon!

Finally, we are honored to have co-organized this event with the generous support of ECSB and look forward to the next edition.

                     

Authors: Arjan Frederiks and Sílvia Costa, University of Groningen

Conducting Research on Eco-innovation and Circular Economy in SMEs

The co-branded event between ECSB and UCLM (University of Castilla la Mancha, Spain, specifically at UCLM we involved the UCLM-JCCM Chair on Circular Economy – this Chair has been fostered by JCCM which is the regional government of Castilla La Mancha) was titled “Conducting Research on Eco-innovation and Circular Economy in SMEs” and took place in Cuenca (SPAIN) during 9th and 10th of December 2021 in a hybrid format (some attendants were in person and others online through Teams). The organizers of the event within UCLM were Francisco Sáez Martínez (Professor of Management and Co-Chair of the UCLM-JCCM Chair on Circular Economy) and Cristina Díaz García (Associate Professor of Management and Spain Vice President for ECSB). There were 35 attendants from seven nationalities (Spain, Colombia, Ireland, Poland, Sweden, Oman, Rwanda).

Plenary session of the Eco-innnovation conference
Plenary session of the event

The event consisted in two keynotes and five paper presentation sessions grouping the papers around similar topics.

The first keynote speaker was Alberto Aragón Correa, who is Professor of Strategy and Sustainability at Univ. Granada and Honorary Professor at Univ. Surrey (https://aragoncorrea.me/), he has been awarded “2021 One Distinguished Academic Scholar by Academy of Management, he presented his last research published on Academy of Management Annals “The effects of mandatory and voluntary regulatory pressures on firms’ environmental strategies”.

Professor Alberto Aragón Correa giving his keynote speech
Professor Alberto Aragón Correa giving his keynote speech.

The second keynote speaker was Rodrigo Lozano, who is Professor of Organisational Sustainability and co-director of the Center of Logistics and Innovative Production (CLIP) at the University of Gävle, Sweden (visiting professor at Central University of Technology at Bloemfontein, South Africa). He is Specialty Chief Editor of Frontiers in Organisations for Sustainability (previously editor-in-chief for the Journal of Cleaner Production). He presented, based on his latest research, the keynote “Circular Economy: Theories, practice and a holistic framework”.

Picture of the Professor Rodrigo Lozano keynote speech.
The second keynote speaker was Professor Rodrigo Lozano.

In total 14 papers were accepted from presentation, they were in different stages of development, but all of them received feedback to foster their progression, contributing to the aims of ECSB:

  1. advance the understanding of entrepreneurship (papers were focused on sustainable entrepreneurship education interaction with sustainability orientation in fostering sustainable entrepreneurship intention and behaviour, analysing the determinants of sustainable entrepreneurship in bioeconomy and wine sector, exploring a better model of KPIs to measure circularity in marketing within the tourism sector, providing a systematic literature review on Circular Economy research or analysing consumers’ values in their purchase intent of green products),
  2. research aimed to improve the competitiveness of SMEs in Europe (many papers were focused on the impact of circular economy on firms’ performance -in conjunction with technology orientation or eco-innovation-, two papers presented interesting chemical processes as eco-innovations in order to reuse waste materials -polyurethanes-, two papers focused on regulatory frameworks at a multi-country level either comparing national systems of eco-innovation to provide guide for action in a developing country or analysing the institutional variables that can decrease appropriability problems fostering eco-innovation patents).

The event website: https://eventos.uclm.es/69506/detail/conducting-research-on-ecoinnovation-and-circular-economy-in-smes.html

Authors: Professor Francisco Sáez Martínez and Associate Professor Cristina Díaz García, University of Castilla la Mancha

Creating a Community for Conducting Experiments in Entrepreneurship Research

Today, we are launching the call for papers for the third edition of the ECSB co-branded event “Conducting Experiments in Entrepreneurship Research Workshop” organized by the University of Groningen Centre for Entrepreneurship, The Netherlands. In this workshop for young scholars, we focus on the use of experimental designs to study entrepreneurship.

In this blogpost we would like to share our experiences during the previous editions of this workshop and highlight why we think it is important to create such a community of scholars. During last year’s edition, we received submissions on a wide variety of theoretical topics within entrepreneurship research, and all papers used an experimental design to test their hypotheses. This was already the second edition, and the first time we hosted it online!

During these three days, we got inspired by keynote sessions by Dr. Basil Englis (Berry College, USA), Dr. Denis Grégoire (HEC Montreal, Canada) and Dr. Magdalena Cholakova (Erasmus University Rotterdam, The Netherlands). On the first day, Basil brought all participants on the same page regarding experimental designs with his keynote “So, … what is an experiment anyway?” On the second workshop day, Denis discussed the validity trade-offs that need to be made when designing an experiment. On the last day, Magdalena took us on a tour through history and showed us an overview of the history of experimental designs.

After the keynote presentations, we organized parallel sessions in which we discussed over 25 papers. Due to the small-scale setting, every presenter had 15 minutes to share their work with the audience. After that, the assigned reviewer, other participants, and a workshop facilitator provided the presenters with excellent feedback!

We were happy to host a “meet the SI editors” with Dr. Sílvia Costa, Dr. Susana Santos, Dr. Silke Tegtmeier and Dr. Mark Schenkel for the Special Issue on “Experimental Designs to Address Current Challenges in Entrepreneurship Education Research” at the journal Entrepreneurship Education & Pedagogy. They shared with more information about the special issue the audience and answered questions.

To facilitate and stimulate networking among the participants, we organized a great networking event hosted by Dutch start-up Brain Fuel and super energetic entrepreneur Friso Visser! Using their self-developed creativity tools, Friso organized a great creative game for all participants, which gave them food for conversation. It was a great conversation starter.

We have enlarged our network with more than 50 participants representing 17 countries! It is great to see the community of entrepreneurship scholars that use experimental designs grow! We look forward to reading all the great experiments presented during the workshop in print soon! We are honored to have co-organized this event with the generous support of ECSB and look forward to the next edition.

We truly believe that the growing interest in the entrepreneurship research community around using experiments as a methodology requires the creation of a work group where we can share experiences, resources and guidance. The evaluation showed that participants were very happy with the workshop’s organization and they found the feedback they received very constructive and helpful.

Looking back at last year’s edition, we are very happy to announce the launch of the Call for Papers for the third edition of the workshop. If you are working on a study using experimental designs, please consider submitting your work to this year’s edition! Please see all details for the third edition here: https://bit.ly/CEER2022

Authors: Arjan Frederiks and Sílvia Costa, University of Groningen

The Good, the Bad and The Ugly in Entrepreneurship Education

The Professional Development Workshop (PDW) about learning from good and bad experiences in entrepreneurship took place in early February 2021. In this workshop my colleagues and I, presented the fundaments of our innovative teaching and research methodology where learning from business failure and business closure is the central topic. We call it Project Fenix and during the past three years we have collected stories of entrepreneurial growth of vibrant companies who have experienced some kind of crisis. Success and failure are scenarios in the marvelous world of entrepreneurship, where the courage and decisiveness needed to start a business are just as important when it comes to shutting it down.

After 5 months of PDW there has been already some developments in this area, and I as one of the organizers share them with the community. The first one is the growing attention to vicarious learning to learn from difficult times, fueled mainly by the difficulties experienced during the global pandemic. Entrepreneurship education is showing a more realistic perspective of entrepreneurship with events where both the positive and negative sides of launching a startup or running a business are being mentioned. The participants of the PDW shared our observation that many students in entrepreneurship programs become very well equipped to learn from successful and accomplished entrepreneurs and to take over the world, so to speak. However, we also noticed that students lack skills to spot signals of businesses about to fail. As such, students were not aware of the necessary paperwork to close a company, nor the consequences of company failure for the staff or for themselves, and lacked understanding of how to deal with such difficult situations.

As such, students were not aware of the necessary paperwork to close a company, nor the consequences of company failure for the staff or for themselves, and lacked understanding of how to deal with such difficult situations.

A second development is the use of the Fenix Database (approximately 750 stories so far) by Master and Bachelor students in their thesis. Students acquired access to the anonymised stories and carried out research to learn about role models in entrepreneurship education, the use of networks in recovery processes and about the change in future perspectives after an experience of business failure. Together with research activities, the lessons from entrepreneurs and advisors have been translated into a wide variety of educational products and teaching materials: reflection for students, integral parts of business plans, media products, and research proposals. We keep being encouraged when students come back to tell us how much they learn from business failure, and how useful would it be for them to know more about prevention and dealing with crisis in their curriculum.

A third development is informing business advisors as a way to reach a broader public. The PDW of February was meant to target educators and coaches, especially those looking for teaching and assessment inspiration to better prepare student entrepreneurs for the turbulent journey of setting up and running own businesses. Besides, it also targeted researchers who are interested in a model for research design which links them up with students, educators and the real businesses via an innovative methodology plugged in entrepreneurship modules. The missing piece was to interact with a broader public, which is now being achieved in the testing of the final products for a project about early warning signals for business crisis called SmartUp. Fenix Project lays a strong foundation in providing a framework of existing knowledge in this topic, that is used for the current  development of an online course for educators and advisors in the field of entrepreneurship.

At last, a strong partnership to collaborate is paying off. Newcastle Business School is a wonderful partner, not only for adopting Project Fenix but also adapting it in the best way possible in their curriculum. At the same time, we have learned from their unique module on business closure. Together, we are publishing a book about the lessons of Project Fenix; this book shall be available (digital and paper copies) at the end of summer of 2021. It is very important for us to keep working with partners beyond the Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences, who share this view of learning from the bad times in entrepreneurship.

We hope to cross paths soon again with those who participated in the PDW of February, or with other like-minded ones with interest in the topic of learning from the good, the bad and the ugly in entrepreneurship. We would be pleased if you become a new companion on this journey; so we invite you to join Project Fenix to collaborate and learn better from business failure and closure. In the near future we hope to expand this teaching and research methodology to other languages, and hope to strengthen the collaboration with colleagues all over Europe and the world.

Author: JuanFra Alvarado Valenzuela
Senior Researcher at the Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences

Five practical recommendations for your next review

An important part of the work we do as researchers is reviewing. But reviewing conference abstracts is different from reviewing full papers since you have to judge a researcher’s work based solely on a summary of about 1000 words. That’s quite a challenge! So how can we do this effectively? In this article, I put together five practical recommendations for your next review of a conference abstract – in particular of course with the RENT conference in mind.

I am sharing with you my expertise and experience as a reviewer, who was selected as one of the best reviewers at the RENT in 2019. Additionally, I invited three of my colleagues who were awarded as best reviewers at the RENT as well to share their insights. So now you are getting five practical recommendations from four best reviewers – to step up your reviewing game for the RENT and other conferences!

Abstracts represent our work and ideas – those ideas that still need to grow and fully develop. As reviewers, we can help our colleagues with this challenge! (Photo by Singkham at Pexels)
  1. Be constructive and respectful

Some people believe that a good review needs to be as critical as possible. While I am all in favour of critical perspectives, each review should offer exactly that: perspectives. My colleague Dagmar sums up our role as reviewers nicely:

I feel that as a reviewer, it is your role to help the authors write the best version of their paper, by providing them with insights that you may have that they themselves have maybe not yet realized. It is thus your responsibility to help them forward [and] to be constructive: your goal is to aid people, not to tear them down. They have put in effort in their work and thus you are responsible for returning this favour. (Dagmar Ylva Hattenberg)

In a small research community such as the ECSB you are likely to meet the person whose work you have reviewed again. Hence, we recommend that we should all definitely return this favour. What I always do is I read the review again after some time has passed, and then ask myself: If I met the author(s) at RENT and had to deliver my review directly to them, would it feel right? If so, you have probably written a constructive review.

  1. Be specific and transparent

It’s sometimes the small details that make a review really helpful for the authors. If you give references, provide the full references so that people can actually find it. Give the authors some insight into why you think that a specific point is problematic or what kind of flaw there is in the theoretical framework. And, of course, be specific about the paper that you have in front of you not what you would write yourself instead

This last point is especially important for reviewing conference abstracts, because abstracts typically leave the space to imagine a variety of different storylines for full papers. If you feel that it is helpful for the authors, point them towards the various possibilities they have to further develop their paper. However, most of your comments should clearly relate to the abstract right in front of you.

  1. Structure your process

Let’s see how people are actually doing this and how it works for them when they have the usual 4-6 abstracts to review for the RENT. My colleague Margo takes about an hour for each abstract and structures her process like this:

  1. Read the abstract
  2. Read the abstract again, and make notes
  3. Collect the notes into comprehensive themes for feedback
  4. Write a few thematic feedback points
  5. Read the written review again and check the tone and understandability
    (Margo Enthoven)

Now, the actual process can of course look a bit different for everyone. Most of us agreed that we read all the abstracts first, and then each one individually in more depth. There is no perfect process, but having a structure makes your process, and hence your reviews, better.

  1. Focus on key points

There are always a lot of things you can comment on in conference abstracts, because a lot of information is, of course, still missing. However, avoid writing reviews that are longer than the actual abstract. For me, a good rule of thumb is to focus on the three key points that I want the authors to get from my review. These are typically points that relate to the overall storyline, the expected contribution and the possible further directions for a paper. These major points are what I focus on in my reviews. Your review does not need to cover every aspect of the abstract, but it should open up developmental perspectives for the authors and help them to realize the potential of their work.

  1. Judge potential in a fair way

Regarding a fair judgement, one of the most challenging things about reviewing abstracts is that you are not judging the complete work, but you mostly judge potential. My colleague Sanna describes it like this:

The papers are in different stages. Sometimes, particularly in early-stage papers, it can be difficult to understand the idea and overall scientific value of the paper. Then it simply requires time to "digest" the paper. It might be that the paper cannot be accepted for the conference but I still try to provide good comments for the future development. (Sanna Ilonen) 

As a reviewer, I very much agree that it takes time to digest certain papers, especially if they feel a bit unfamiliar or are not so closely related to what you normally work on. Now to actually judge potential, a key point is to reflect: Will this paper be developed into a full paper by the expected deadline? If it is presented at RENT: will my fellow colleagues be excited about its presentation? Of course, sometimes the answer to this is “no”. Hence, in order to keep up the quality of a conference, you will sometimes recommend that an abstract won’t be accepted. That might feel difficult, but it is just as important for a research community than an enthusiastic acceptance.

Now back to the second part of what Sanna said: even if an abstract cannot be accepted, you can help the authors with the future development of the work. Your judgement call will not always be considered fair or be shared by the other reviewers, but if the authors understand why their work has been declined and they have some guidance how to proceed, they will experience this as a fair process – one that shows respect for your fellow researchers’ work.

These are 5 simple recommendations to guide you through your reviewing process. On behalf of the ECSB: thank you for your dedication as reviewers to developing our supportive community. If you want to discuss further, feel free to contact me on LinkedIn or Twitter!

Author: Verena Meyer, Leuphana University of Lüneburg; ECSB Country Vice-President for Germany

Recap: Developing Responsible and Sustainable Innovations in Entrepreneurship Education

As entrepreneurship scholars and educators, we typically use project seminars to teach students about entrepreneurship. During those project seminars we let the students choose what exactly they want to work on. Projects they work on range from apps that want to enable consumers to save time when grocery shopping or be able to follow a healthy vegan diet, to concepts such as cafés to share skills or strengthen community-building. This shows that the concepts that the students develop often incorporate thoughts on sustainability. Nonetheless, these concepts often lack an overall and thorough reflection of the possible negative and positive sustainable outcomes. So how could we get these students to develop holistic sustainable ideas and critically assess the impact of their innovations?

For the latest Professional Development Workshop, hosted by ECSB, I teamed up with two sustainability scholars, Flavio Pinheiro Martins and Yasmin Azim Zadeh, to tackle this challenge. The idea to this workshop was born at a conference about responsible innovation, that took place last year. For me, as an entrepreneurship scholar who had mainly attended entrepreneurship conferences, this was a new community and an unknown discourse – but one which I felt greatly inspired by. As someone facilitating innovation processes, I was constantly wondering how to support the development of sustainable ideas. Responsible innovation seems to be one promising answer to this. Since this conference, Flavio and I have been working on the idea of bringing together sustainability and entrepreneurship, especially in education.

In the sandbox, virtual representation and haptic experience are thought together to combine perspectives ©Leuphana/Patrizia Jäger

At this point, Yasmin and I would like to share our experiences working in a project called ‘Sandbox Innovation Process’ at the Leuphana University of Lüneburg, which aims to foster open innovation to tackle regional challenges. This project builds innovation communities within a framework of an open innovation process. We leverage this process by creating a basis of trust through various team building activities and repeated feedback sessions. The main chance and the main challenge in this process is the heterogeneity of its participants: students, pensioners, entrepreneurs, citizens – all from the same region, but with different outlooks and perspectives. This inclusion of perspectives is one of the key points in a process of responsible innovation.

When we look at entrepreneurial projects from a lens of responsible innovation, we can teach our students not only about entrepreneurship, but also about sustainability. In our Professional Development Workshop, we aimed to work explicitly with a concept of sustainability. For this, the sustainable development goals (SDGs) presented a good framework to get started. As educators, we appreciate the great material that is freely available and the easy access for our participants to this concept. While the SDGs are one way to engage with sustainability, we felt that by asking participants how their ideas related to the SDGs (in negative and positive ways) was indeed a good starting point for reflection. This reflexivity is again a key point towards responsible innovation, which strives towards making a positive impact in society.

Of course, we learned a lot from our participants as well. One question was of particular interest and intensely discussed: how can we be part of the solution if we are also part of the problem? The educator who brought this up felt that she was part of the generation which is responsible for the current mess that is our planet. While many of us could well relate to this feeling, a key point from the other participants was that this should not stop us. Especially if we are part of the problem, it is our responsibility to become part of the solution. As educators, we can have a great influence by supporting our students in making a difference. Strengthening responsible innovation in entrepreneurship education means increasing our positive impact in society. This workshop, hopefully, provided a small starting point into this direction – and we would love to discuss further, so join us for a discussion on ResearchGate!

Further information:

  • The project Sandbox Innovation Process is funded by the European Fund for Regional Development (EFRE) and the federal state of Lower Saxony and situated at the Leuphana University’s Cooperation Service with Prof. Markus Reihlen as the scientific project leader. More information: www.leuphana.de/sandbox-projekt (in German)
  • SDGs and Entrepreneurship: Horne, J., Recker, M., Michelfelder, I., Jay, J., & Kratzer, J. (2020). Exploring entrepreneurship related to the sustainable development. Journal of Cleaner Production, 242, 118052.
  • Responsible Innovation: Stilgoe, J., Owen, R., & Macnaghten, P. (2013). Developing a framework for responsible innovation. Research policy42(9), 1568-1580.

Author: Verena Meyer, Leuphana University of Lüneburg with Flavio Pinheiro Martins, University of Sao Paulo, and Yasmin Azim Zadeh, Leuphana University of Lüneburg

Experiences on RENT Conferences

As a young researcher, you always look for a scientific community. At the RENT conference and within ECSB, I think I have found mine. Last week I was at the RENT conference at the ESCP Business School in Berlin – this was my 4th time at the RENT conference.

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Graffiti at a school in Berlin, about learning and growth – favourite quote: “If I were you, I would like to be me!”

It is time to look back:

  1. The RENT was my first conference ever – to participate and to do a presentation (on the 1st day, in the 1st session, as the 1st presenter… talk about a jump into cold water!)
  2. The community made me feel very welcome, even when I was still a Master’s student (thanks to Silke Tegtmeier for opening up this opportunity for me so early!)
  3. Gave me a chance to travel on my own to Antwerp, Lund, and Toledo (and for completeness: Berlin), which made my mum worry and me happy about the opportunity
  4. Made me a better researcher – through great and always (!) constructive feedback for my own work, but also through a lot of impulses and interesting people
  5. Made me a better reviewer and provider of feedback – which was particularly appreciated this year when I got nominated as best reviewer with two senior colleagues: Friederike Welter and Gry Agnete Alsos, whose work I greatly admire. Now I have a nice certificate, sparkling wine and a lot of motivation to continue reviewing.

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A picture from the gala dinner and the award ceremony – from left to right: Sophia Marie Braun, Silke Tegtmeier, Verena Meyer, Friederike Welter, Gry Agnete Alsos, and René Mauer

It feels great to be taken seriously as a young researcher and grow within a community!

Author: Verena Meyer, Leuphana University of Lüneburg

This post appeared first on LinkedIn, feel free to contact Verena to share experiences- https://www.linkedin.com/in/verena-meyer/