Bridging the gap between governments and small and medium-sized enterprises

Ben De Coninck

What was my dream when I was little?

I guess I went through the usual phases: a fighter pilot, a policeman, a prince, an astronaut, a firefighter, and so on. The one thing I figured out quite early is that becoming a king was going to be difficult. But as Journey so wisely sang: “Don’t stop believing, hold on to the feeling”.

What am I doing when I am not working on my PhD?

I’m still stuck in a student mindset, so I like to go out with friends and have fun. Apart from that, I absolutely love the sun and warmth. If I find the time and money, I try to visit friends living in warm countries.

What is my PhD about?

My PhD focuses on the tendering process, which is part of the broad procurement process that governments use to purchase goods and/or services. Essentially, I want to understand how we can implement digital technologies, such as mobile or social, to increase the involvement of small and medium-sized enterprises in the tendering process.

Why is this important for practice?

On the one hand, small and medium-sized enterprises can benefit from this research as it provides them with a more efficient way of tapping into a substantial market. Governments, on the other hand, can take advantage of this research due to higher cost efficiency, simpler procedures, and more transparency. In a broader sense, we, as taxpayers, would all benefit because taxpayers’ money could be allocated more effectively. In a nutshell, if we are lucky, I will single-handedly fix the budget deficit and the economy. Fingers crossed!

How do I like to be remembered after my PhD?

Well, I hope that the end of my PhD doesn’t mean that I would suddenly disappear from the planet… As long as I am remembered as an optimistic, helpful researcher that contributed something that improves people’s lives, I am happy.

How do I see my future?

Like a thick cement wall – I have no clue what’s on the other side.

& Rankings

Equis Association of MBAs AACSB Financial Times