European Council for Small Business and Entrepreneurship
Engaged entrepreneurship research in Europe

ECSB Doctoral Workshop on Entrepreneurship and Small Business Management

at RENT XXXVII in Gdansk (Poland) on 15 November 2023



Professor Martina Battisti
Grenoble Ecole de Management

Professor René Mauer
ESCP Business School, Germany

Professor Natalia Vershinina
Audencia Business School, France

Application deadline: 1 July 2023

The Doctoral Workshop has a successful tradition at RENT. It represents a unique opportunity for doctoral students to present their thesis proposals and obtain useful insight into how their work can be improved and progressed as well as an opportunity for bouncing ideas off the experienced faculty. The workshop also facilitates the exchange of research experiences and new ideas in the fields of entrepreneurship and small business management. The ECSB Doctoral Workshop is truly a meeting place for both new and experienced researchers from all over Europe and an ideal place to start networking. We particularly encourage students in the early stages of their research to participate as a way of launching themselves into the international research community. Please note that you need NOT wait to be accepted to the conference in order to apply for the Doctoral Workshop.

The workshop is organized with a morning and an afternoon session. The morning session is an interactive plenary session with a facilitated discussion of common challenges. The afternoon session is split up into pods to discuss individual student proposals in small groups. One or two senior faculty (pod session leaders) will discuss each proposal. Feedback will also be expected from peers.

Doctoral candidates interested in attending and presenting their research proposal (not the result of completed research!) should send a two-page abstract including information on when they commenced their Ph.D. study and when they expect to complete. The abstract should be organized according to the following guidelines: it should explain (i) the topicality of the research, (ii) the theoretical background, (iii) stating research question(s) as well as (iv) the proposed methodology and (v) expected contribution to the field.

The abstract should be sent to Professor Martina Battisti ( by 1 July 2023. Accepted participants are expected to deliver an extended 6-page proposal by 1 September 2023. This will be used as the basis for the afternoon discussions and will be distributed to other doctoral students and the group session leaders.

An award will be given to the best doctoral thesis proposal submitted to the RENT doctoral workshop. The assessment committee consists of the chairpersons and the pod session leaders.

The number of participants is limited to 20 students. We assess the proposals based on quality and, if necessary, prioritize early-stage students. Applicants will be notified of acceptance of their proposal no later than 25 of July 2023. Immediately following receipt of acceptance, students are required to register formally for the Conference.

No fee is charged for participation in the Doctoral Workshop. However, participation in the RENT Conference is compulsory. Please note though, that students need NOT present a paper at the Conference itself to participate, although this is encouraged. Upon acceptance to the Doctoral Workshop students qualify for a 200 euro reduction of the official conference fee, sponsored by ECSB. The reduced fee includes participation in the doctoral consortium, participation in the RENT conference, and one year’s full membership of ECSB. Information on how to obtain the fee reduction will be provided together with the acceptance email.

Further information on the Doctoral Workshop will be forwarded together with the letter of acceptance. For further information on the RENT Conference itself, please see

Deadline for proposal submission for the Doctoral Workshop: 1 July 2023 by e-mail to Professor Martina Battisti (

Doctoral students may agree that turning ideas into a researchable question is the hardest part of your studies. You have an idea, but how do you know if it matters, or is any ‘good’? Winning the “ECSB Best Doctoral Student Award” has been a real motivation. Besides being able to present my work, I met some of the most distinguished academics in the field in Europe. I was also given the opportunity to meet scholars and students from across the Atlantic at the USASBE conference in New Orleans. Taking part in the Doctoral Consortium was a good learning experience and a chance to receive feedback on my research proposal. There was a great mixture of academics, practitioners, entrepreneurs and academic entrepreneurs who were always ready to share their stories. One of the most valuable sessions I attended was a round-table, run by Gregory Ulferts from the University of Detroit Mercy, on businesses owned by people with disabilities and the work of the US Business Leadership Network (USBLN) that supports inclusion of disabled people in business. After two days of attending various conference sessions, without seeing a daylight, I went out to sit by the Mississippi River and tasted the chicory-infused coffee and beignets in the French Quarter. Eva Kasperova, University of Kingston

Eva won the Best Doctoral Proposal Award in RENT 2011