Center for Regional Economic Development (CRED)

Location dynamics and regional economic policy 

Core competence: Entrepreneurship

In the area entrepreneurship we deal with several topics in the context of new venture creation and corporate entrepreneurship. 

Among the research topics in established firms (i.e., corporate entrepreneurship) are, among others, portfolio entrepreneurship, strategic entrepreneurship, innovation teams, and success factors of family firms. 

In the startup context, we, for instance, investigate which factors affect the emergence of entrepreneurial intentions, which aspects make the completion of the founding process more or less likely, the composition of successful entrepreneurial teams, the role of founder social identities, and how the family’s financial support affects new venture behavior. Moreover, we investigate differences in entrepreneurial behavior between countries and regions within specific countries and how they can be explained.

What do we know about student entrepreneurship?

The GUESSS research project (Global University Entrepreneurial Spirit Students´ Survey) investigates students’ entrepreneurial intentions and activities. 

As of today, GUESSS is one of the largest research projects in the world. With every of the 8 data collection waves, it has been growing and became more global. In 2018, GUESSS was conducted in 54 countries, with more than 208’000 students from more than 3’000 universities taking part. Since 2016, GUESSS is co-organized by the Universities of Bern and St.Gallen. Also, the Swiss National Report is developed together; it analyzes the specific situation in Switzerland and compares it with the results on the global level. 

At GUESSS, the following research questions are examined, for instance: how strong are Swiss students’ entrepreneurial intentions, and what are the antecedents? How do these intentions differ between regions, and why? How many students are in the process of new venture creation, and what are their detailed plans? How many students already have an own firm, and how can they be characterized? 

We find, for instance, that 2.3 percent of all students in Switzerland plan to work in their own business right after completion of their studies; 5 years after completion, the number rises to 20.1 percent. In the global comparison, however, these numbers are comparably low (see Figure 1). 

CRED: Entrepreneurship
Figure 1: Career choice intentions directly after studies and 5 years after studies.

Current projects

Working title Research question
Entrepreneurial Teams: Composition, Characteristics, and Success Factors
How does the composition of founding teams look like, why, and what makes them successful?
Artur Baldauf, Philipp Sieger
Founder Social Identities: The Purpose of Entrepreneurship
What is the purpose of new venture creation, and how is corresponding success defined?
Philipp Sieger
Corporate Entrepreneurship: Keeping Companies Entrepreneurial
How can established firms remain entrepreneurial in the long run or become entrepreneurial again? 
Philipp Sieger, Simon Nobs
New Venture Teams: Innovation from Within
What are the success factors of entrepreneurial teams within established firms? Artur Baldauf, Jessica Villiger
Visualizing Cluster Emergence: The Live Sciences Cluster in Basel How does an industry cluster emerge, and which role do startups play?
Heike Mayer