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

Institutions and Entrepreneurship Special Interest Group

Acronym: InsEnt SIG

Short content and objectives

Institutions are relevant both for the development of entrepreneurial activity and for social and economic performance. The institutional approach is increasingly used in the literature on entrepreneurship. However, there is still room for both theoretical and empirical contributions. Institutions understood as the rules of the game in society shape human interaction. Institutions set both boundaries and incentives for entrepreneurial action, thus influencing the nature and pace of the development of entrepreneurship. The dynamic relationship between formal (regulations, written rules, constitutions, etc.), and informal institutions (cultural values, attitudes, traditions, etc.) explains the different levels of progress in societies. By applying an institutional approach to the field of entrepreneurship, formal institutions can be measured through the costs and procedures of creating businesses, the existence of organizations supporting services for firm formation, as well as different types of regulations related to the development of business. On the other hand, informal institutions can be operationalized, among others, through societal attitudes towards entrepreneurship, the recognition and legitimation of entrepreneurial careers in society, and the degree of fear of business failure. Thus, when developing our scholarly understanding related to the combination of formal and informal institutions, we are able to explain how and why more or less entrepreneurial societies emerge and what potential role institutions play in forming the development of entrepreneurship in societies.

Researchers interested in this line of research (from a broad or narrow perspective) are invited to be part of the Institutions and Entrepreneurship Special Interest Group (InsEnt SIG)!

The objectives of the InsEnt SIG are the following:

  1. Create an academic discussion forum on this research area, initially within the ECSB community, considering both theoretical and empirical-methodological perspectives to advance in the application of the institutional approach.
  2. Promote research on institutions and entrepreneurship within the ECSB community and spread the use of the institutional approach in the field of entrepreneurship, also increasing its legitimacy in academia.
  3. Generate research collaborations and promote publication opportunities among the ECSB community, creating an international academic network of scholars in this area.

Planned activities

During the last RENT Conference in Naples (November 2022), the InsEnt SIG was created and the first meeting took place. The aim of this meeting was to introduce the group members and to discuss the internal rules of the SIG and potential activities. Also, the new RENT track on “Institutions and Entrepreneurship” was organized and dynamized during the conference.

The InsEnt SIG plans to organize various activities over the next three years. The main activities are the following:

  1. Online and/or face-to-face research seminars/workshops.
  2. PDWs at the pre-conference day (RENT and/or 3E Conferences).
  3. Continue organizing the track on “Institutions and Entrepreneurship” at the RENT Conference. It is also planned to organize a track on “Institutions and Entrepreneurship Education” at the 3E Conference.
  4. Regular internal InsEnt SIG face-to-face members meetings during RENT Conference and/or 3E Conference, and also online follow-up meetings during the rest of the year.
  5. Launch special issues and propose some awards for the best research on institutions and entrepreneurship in the context of the RENT Conference and/or 3E Conference.

The InsEnt SIG activities will be disseminated through social media (LinkedIn platform, ECSB web and ECSB Newsletter).


Leadership and membership

Chair: David Urbano (Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, Spain)

David Urbano is a Professor of Entrepreneurship at Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona and ICREA Academia-Research Fellow. He is also the Director of the Centre for Entrepreneurship and Social Innovation Research (CREIS) and a research fellow at IfM Bonn, and at the Basque Observatory for Entrepreneurship. He regularly visits Trinity Business School (Trinity College Dublin) and Haas School of Business (University of California Berkeley). He is Associate Editor of Small Business Economics Journal (SBEJ) and Consulting Editor of International Small Business Journal (ISBJ). His research focuses on the analysis of factors affecting entrepreneurship in different contexts, using the institutional approach as a theoretical framework, and combining quantitative and qualitative methodologies. He is a member of the Board of Directors in the ECSB (

Co-chair: Jasna Pocek (Free University of Bozen-Bolzano, Italy)

Jasna Pocek is a Postdoctoral researcher at Free University of Bozen-Bolzano, Italy, Research Affiliate at Blekinge Institute for Technology, and CIRCLE, Lund University, Sweden. Her research interests are entrepreneurship and institutions, the role of formal and informal institutions and their interplay for understanding of entrepreneurship related dynamics. Before joining academia, she worked alongside United Nations agency ILO on institutional reforms and governance of markets. She is one of the recipients of a Swedish Central Bank “Riksbanken” award, for a project on the impact of Covid19 policy responses upon the cross-border EU regions’ ecosystems and entrepreneurship (2023-2025) (

The InsEnt SIG Committee

Sebastian Aparicio (Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, Spain) sebastian.aparicio(a)
Gustav Hägg (Malmoe University, Sweden) gustav.hagg(a)
Agnieszka Kurczewska (Lodz University, Poland) agnieszka.kurczewska(a)
Jasna Pocek (Free University of Bozen-Bolzano, Italy; Blekinge Institute of Technology, Sweden; and CIRCLE, Lund University, Sweden) Jasna.Pocek(a)
Pierluigi Rippa (University of Naples Federico II, Italy) pierluigi.rippa(a)
David Urbano (Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, Spain) david.urbano(a)
Mirela Xheneti (University of Sussex, UK) m.xheneti(a)

Current InsEnt SIG members

Solomon A. Abebe (Lund University)

Abdullah Aljarodi (University of Business & Technology, Saudi Arabia)

Turki Alfahaid (King AbdulAziz University, Saudi Arabia)

Sebastian Aparicio (Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, Spain)

Liz Arroyo (Universitat de Barcelona, Spain)

Maksim Belitski (Henley Business School, UK)

Christopher Boudreaux (Florida Atlantic University, Florida, US)

Lorella Cannavacciuolo (University of Naples Federico II, Italy)

Nuria Calvo (Universidad de La Coruña, Spain)

Ondrej Dvoulety (Prague University of Economics and Business, Czech Republic)

Joao Ferreira (University of Beira Interior, Portugal)

Kisito Futonge (Trinity College Dublin, Ireland)

Francisco García (Universidad de La Laguna, Spain)

Gustav Hägg (Malmoe University, Sweden)

Ganira Ibrahimova (University of Siegen, Germany)

Agnieszka Kurczewska (Lodz University, Poland)

Rama Kummitha (Northumbria University, UK)

Tatiana Lopez (Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, Spain)

Carolin Maaßen (Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, Spain)

Euclides Major (Nova School of Business and Economics, Portugal)

Victor Martin-Sanchez (University of Southern Denmark, Denmark)

Natanya Meyer (University of Johannesburg, South Africa)

Kristel Miller (Ulster University, Northern Ireland)

Petra Moog (University of Siegen, Germany)

Jairo Orozco (Universidad EAN, Colombia)

Saurav Pathak (Raymond A. Mason School of Business, Virginia – US)

Jasna Pocek (Free University of Bozen-Bolzano, Italy; Blekinge Institute of Technology, Sweden; and CIRCLE, Lund University, Sweden)

Pierluigi Rippa (University of Naples Federico II, Italy)

Inés Ruiz (Universidad de La Laguna, Spain)

Elies Seguí (Universitat Politècnica de València, Spain)

Alina Spanuth (Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, Spain)

Guillermina Tormo (Universitat Politècnica de València, Spain)

Andreu Turró (Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, Spain)

David Urbano (Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, Spain)

Mirela Xheneti (University of Sussex, UK)

The list of current SIG members will be updated regularly by the chair of the SIG and will be sent to all members of the SIG. Website will be updated once per year.


How to become a member of the Institutions and Entrepreneurship Special Interest Group (InsEnt SIG)?

Institutions and Entrepreneurship Special Interest Group (InsEnt SIG) welcomes ECSB members to be part of this SIG! Joining the future activities of the SIG requires a valid ECSB membership (If no current ECSB membership, he/she must become ECSB member within a short period – 9 months -). Please see detailed information here for membership (link).

If you are interested in being a member of the InsEnt SIG please fill in the online form via the link below: