Vlerick Expertise in Entrepreneurship

Vlerick Business School's entrepreneurship faculty and researchers develop their special expertise through academic and applied research. Within the management domain of entrepreneurship we specialise in customised programmes on entrepreneurship, management advice on innovation & entrepreneurship and networking amongst entrepreneurs.

The key research areas where our specialists work in, are: entrepreneurship phenomena with a special focus on opportunity recognition and business planning, entrepreneurship education in all aspects, entrepreneurial finance with a special focus on private equity, entrepreneurial activity in regions and countries, entrepreneurship policy in Flanders and Belgium and growth with a special focus on entrepreneurial medium-sized companies.

In this section you can discover our recent articles, podcasts and videos on entrepreneurship-related topics. Our channel to share our knowledge and expertise with you as an entrepreneur!

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  1. Broad social and international reporting on entrepreneurship in business newspaper De Tijd

    In contrast to the Flemish television news, the newspaper De Tijd pays more attention to entrepreneurship. Most items are of a financial and economic nature, just like on the television news. However, the way in which De Tijd considers entrepreneurship from a broad social perspective is notable. In almost half of the articles, entrepreneurship is seen as part of life in society. No fewer than 10% of the entrepreneurship ¬articles are about ethics and sustainability. In comparison with the television news, civil society is significantly less active in the interpretation of the news and De Tijd also pays noticeably more attention to the international context in its reports. This was shown in a study, which looks at how entrepreneurship in all its forms is covered in the Flemish newspaper De Tijd.

  2. How can entrepreneurship fight poverty?

    It is something you often read: ‘Entrepreneurship is the key to fighting poverty’. But despite all of our good intentions, projects to stimulate entrepreneurship in more impoverished areas do not always deliver the results hoped for. Of what do the people initiating these projects, such as microcredit providers, NGOs and multinationals, need to be aware? As part of his doctoral research, Jacob Vermeire went to South Africa for 12 months. He believes the answer lies in the ability to place poverty and entrepreneurship within a broader perspective.

  3. Optimist or opportunist?

    Recent research by Veroniek Collewaert, Professor of Entrepreneurship, has shown that entrepreneurs’ over-optimism towards a possible investor cannot always be put down to an ‘enthusiastic belief in their business’. Sometimes prognoses are deliberately presented in an excessively rosy light. Peter Maenhout, the Head Connected Consumer at our Chair Partner Gimv, the regional investment company in Flanders, explains: ‘Just give us the “raw data” of an entrepreneur who knows his market.’

  4. Entrepreneurial passion: how to keep the fire burning

    Theoretical and empirical studies agree that passion is a critical factor influencing entrepreneurial behaviour and performance. Some have suggested that this passion may change over time. However, empirical evidence for this claim is at best ambiguous. Moreover, research has so far given little attention to the factors influencing entrepreneurial passion. Professor Veroniek Collewaert: “Prior research has considered an entrepreneur’s passion for founding as a given and as something entrepreneurs have to make the best of. Our findings point to a key role entrepreneurs play in keeping their own fire burning.”

  5. Family companies more open to private equity

    ‘Keep it in the family.’ The time-honoured motto of family companies has applied less and less in recent years, and that includes their funding. All around us we see increasing transparency and openness to the outside world, and family companies today are not immune to this. Recent research in cooperation with our Chair Partner Gimv provides a nuanced picture of family companies and their attitude to private equity.

  6. Stricter than the EU? Surely that’s not necessary?

    How do unlisted companies – starters and rapidly growing businesses – finance their growth? How are their potential transfers or buyouts financed? And what impact do financing choices have on their continued development? At the request of the Belgian Federal Science Policy Office, a team of researchers from a number of different universities has been examining these questions. Professor Sophie Manigart was the project leader. Below, she comments on the key results that emerged from the study.

  7. The development patterns of newly internationalising firms

    What happens when a company decides to ‘go global’ and enter foreign markets? What are the typical growth patterns of international new ventures (INVs) as opposed to more traditional exporters? Prof Leo Sleuwaegen and researcher Jonas Onkelinx have conducted a study that provides some interesting answers.

  8. What drives regional innovation in the EU?

    Prof Leo Sleuwaegen and researcher Priscilla Boiardi have published a paper that analyses EU regional patenting activity − a strong indicator of regional innovation − within a system of creative change driven by 4 fundamental factors: institutions, intelligence, infrastructure, and inspiration. Prof Leo Sleuwaegen: “We developed this paper from research that we conducted for the Flanders District of Creativity. In brief, we were investigating what makes regions creative in terms of innovation, and how Flanders is performing benchmarked against all the other regions in the EU.

  9. Conflict is not always bad. It’s not always good either.

    Research literature is awash with studies that describe how angel investors are involved in their portfolio ventures and the various value-adding roles they take on. But how the very nature of their involvement actually influences ventures’ performance, particularly their innovativeness, has so far not been addressed. This research paper examines how task conflicts between angel investors and entrepreneurs are related to the innovativeness of the portfolio companies in question and how this relationship is moderated by the level of agreement on priorities, diversity of entrepreneurial experience, and communication frequency.

  10. A helping hand from the government can be useful

    You sometimes hear people claim that “The government shouldn't get involved in the corporate world”. But is this actually the case? Until recently, Professor Sophie Manigart felt it was better for government bodies not to get involved in funding (young) companies. On behalf of the IWEPS, the Walloon Institute for Evaluation, Forecasting and Statistics, she carried out a comprehensive literature study into the funding of young and innovative companies and the potential role of the government in encouraging access to this funding. These days, she has a more nuanced opinion.

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