Entrepreneurship, Small Businesses' Innovation and Contexts

Student thesis: Doc typesDoctor of Economics and Business Management


This thesis examines how contexts and institutions affect entrepreneurship and innovation of small businesses. It is composed by three chapters addressing distinct research questions.
The first chapter focuses on the under-researched category of micro enterprises. It explores whether they participate in innovation and how the level of competition affects their innovation practices. By using a large sample of European firms, this chapter unravels a relevant share of innovative microbusinesses and it provides evidence of an inverted U-shaped relationship between competition and their innovation activity.
The second chapter investigates whether a bankruptcy system where creditors expect to recover a high amount of credit can stimulate innovation investments of small businesses through lower interest rates and therefore easier access to credit conditions. This chapter shows that better recovery rates are positively associated to the innovation propensity of micro, small, and medium enterprises, and that this positive effect is driven by more lenient financing conditions.
The third chapter studies the link between entrepreneurship and democracy. Specifically, it asks whether democratic contexts foster entrepreneurial activity and, if yes, how. By using data over the 1972-2010 period, it provides empirical evidence that democracy is conducive to entrepreneurship. It also shows that the promotion of unconstrained socio-cultural interactions and the direct involvement of civil society in decision-making processes are two dimensions driving this positive effect.
Date of Award6 Mar 2023
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • University of Namur
SponsorsUniversity of Namur
SupervisorMarcus Dejardin (Supervisor), Eric TOULEMONDE (Supervisor), Jean-Marie BALAND (President), Martin Carree (Jury), Marc Cowling (Jury), Mathias HUNGERBUHLER (Jury) & Silvio Vismara (Jury)


  • Entrepreneurship
  • Innovation
  • Contexts
  • Small Businesses

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