Coordinator: Dr. Anita van Gils

The added value of social innovation in Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) is significant. However, due to the high level of involvement of entrepreneurs in the company’s operational activities and the SMEs limited resources, innovation is often not a priority in these organisations. This prompts the question how SMEs could benefit optimally from social innovation. Within this theme, specific opportunities for social innovation in SMEs are investigated. For most businesses, the main challenge is to ensure that not only the entrepreneur has an enterprising and innovative attitude, but that such an entrepreneurial orientation pervades all layers of the organisation.

Research in this theme focuses on questions such as:

  • How to stimulate the entrepreneurial orientation and creativity of employees within the company, to be able to identify and develop new opportunities more quickly?
  • How can new and small businesses cooperate successfully with businesses in open innovation networks, without becoming dependent on large companies or lose their knowledge advantage?
  • What are the effects of the succession process in family SMEs on the business’s innovative power?
  • How to promote sharing knowledge and on-the-job learning in SMEs, in order to increase employee loyalty and motivate workers, but also to decrease dependence on external training?

Information on the NSI projects, PhD projects and Publications related to this research theme can be accessed through the links below: