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

ECSB offers an online Professional Development Workshop “Please make me whole again – How to practice sustainable entrepreneurship research” on 15 March 2022 at 10:00-12:00 CET.

The PDW is open to ECSB & ISBE members. Register by 11 March via the link available at the bottom of the page. If you do not have a valid ECSB members, to join ECSB, visit: To join ISBE: visit


PDW Description

PDW Chairs: Sarah Dodd (Strathclyde University) and Friederike Welter (University of Siegen)

Background: Sustainability and entrepreneurship have been uneasy bedfellows through much of our short discipline history. Enterprise has been seen largely as a global driver for economic growth, and for the creation of financial value through new industries and ventures. Yet our ever-present critical chorus has made considerable progress in recent years, too, towards sustainable entrepreneurship. This reminds us that so much of real value cannot be measured in dollars and cents, and that entrepreneurship has the potential to be a sustaining, stewarding, re-energizing, joyful, creative force, too. We have come to celebrate and study the smaller scale, the frugal, the locally responsive and embedded – a human and humane entrepreneurship which nourishes resources instead of draining them.

But what about us as entrepreneurship scholars? COVID 19 is but one major impact factor amongst many which have, perhaps ironically, made our research less sustaining of ourselves, whilst we simultaneously embrace the principles of sustainable entrepreneurship for other peoples and places.

What can we learn from these new insights, and these everyday entrepreneurs, that can be brought into our own practices? How can we transform entrepreneurship research into a practice which also nurtures our passions, peoples, and places? How can we, reflexively, develop and lead sustainable entrepreneurship scholarship that feeds our own minds, bodies and souls? How can we ourselves enact and manifest the virtues and values of sustainable entrepreneurship that we strive to understand and promote in the lives of others? How do we cope with the ever-increasing demands of our profession on our worktime, and the growing volume of outputs to be delivered? How do we engage in self-care? These are some of the questions we want to explore in our PDW.

We believe these questions to be of great importance for the future of individual research careers as well as for the academic system as a whole. Research is, for most of us and most of the times, a dream career. We are privileged in combining passion and work. On the other hands, institutional demands and expectations have grown tremendously, and excellence is anticipated across all three of our missions. The pandemic has highlighted the numerous competing – if not outright conflicting – demands of our research careers. Junior and early career scholars faced difficulties in making the next career step. Those involved in family care juggled too many responsibilities at the same time. All of this had or will have an impact on ourselves, our research and our professional future.

Therefore, we suggest it is time to begin acting more like sustainable entrepreneurs within our own research practice, learning from our own research results, and building new ways of being and becoming sustainable entrepreneurship scholars, including ourselves within that circle of creative care.

Target groups: entrepreneurship scholars at different stages of their career, looking for learning and networking opportunities to apply their research results / advice to entrepreneurs to their own working lives, and those of the researchers they nurture.

Outline of the PDW: Participants will be asked to “bring” along with them digital postcards which represent and illustrate their experiences (insights, learnings and visions) as to what self-sustaining entrepreneurship research might mean to each of them. In groups of 5-6 people, each participant will have 3 minutes to share these images and insights.

Groups will then be invited to each co-create a virtual bricolage of self-sustaining entrepreneurship research, from their postcards and other sources.

After a short break, the second hour of the workshop will see participants reflecting on themes and patterns emerging from the bricolage gallery. These will be consolidated into a single word co-created cloud, before participants are challenged to begin outlining a research agenda for this area.