Thematic Cluster on “Entrepreneurship and Innovation in Emerging Economies”

The theme covers a cluster of projects in emerging economies, which involve among others: fundamental research and MSc, PhD and executive education. Moreover, it aims to disseminate knowledge to companies, civil society organizations, policy-makers and universities operating in emerging economies.

Why is this theme necessary?

Entrepreneurs, managers, policy-makers, farmers and civil society activists in emerging economies are exposed to processes of rapid change, unprecedented opportunities and turbulent environments. As such, they need to constantly balance business development and social/community development practices. In face of these challenges, academia has so far struggled to connect business strategy and social development in a joint discipline and a coherent theoretical framework.

What do we want to achieve with this theme?

There are three main projects that together comprise entrepreneurship and innovation in emerging economies. These are 1) the Global Center for Food Systems Innovation program, 2) Value chain Innovation Platforms for Food Security (VIP4FS) project, and 3) Organizing for SMAllholder Resilience (OSMARE). Stemming from the on-going research and outreach experience of these three projects, as a thematic cluster it addresses the following broad questions among the others:

  1. How do stakeholders/farmers take strategic decisions and actions in turbulent and uncertain environments typical of emerging economies?
  2. How do multiple spheres (e.g. family, community, farmer organizations, markets, other institutions) around stakeholders/farmers influence entrepreneurial practice?
  3. How do platforms, hubs or other organizations providing a (virtual and/or physical) interface among multiple stakeholders/farmers trigger or constrain entrepreneurial practice?
  4. How do existing organizations and institutions provide a better climate for entrepreneurship? And how can stakeholders/farmers keep entrepreneuring despite challenging organizational and institutional environments?

Who can benefit?

All together, these activities meet the interest and demands of:

  • Researchers advancing their PhD studies or deepening their theoretical and methodological understanding of recent entrepreneurship, innovation theories in emerging economies.
  • Entrepreneurs developing start-ups, especially hi-tech and design-thinking oriented, that procure from and/or sell to emerging economies;
  • Managers working in companies, especially multinational corporations, seeking to addressing complex business-society issues at the bottom of the pyramid;
  • Civil society activists, community leaders, development practitioners or local policy-makers with a focus on learning and the development of capabilities (i.e. entrepreneurship, innovativeness and market orientation)

The concerned countries: