Research Projects

Michael M. Gielnik’s research interests are entrepreneurship, in particular action-based entrepreneurship trainings, the entrepreneurial process, and sustainable entrepreneurial behavior. He has taken a special interest in entrepreneurship in developing countries. He has conducted several research and practice projects in different countries in sub-Saharan Africa and Asia. Currently, his main research projects are:



The STEP training aims to promote entrepreneurship among youngsters and undergraduate students by providing them with knowledge, skills, and confidence in how to start a new business. The STEP training is unique insofar as it is action-oriented and evidence-based. During the STEP training, the trainees engage in start-up process of a real micro business to learn entrepreneurship “on-the-job”. More


Gender and Entrepreneurship

Fe­ma­le Busi­ness-ow­ners are one of the fas­test gro­wing en­tre­pre­neu­ri­al po­pu­la­ti­ons in the world (Brush et al., 2006). Howe­ver, wo­men still own and ma­na­ge si­gni­fi­cant­ly fe­wer busi­nes­ses than men. Fur­ther­mo­re, fe­ma­le-ow­ned busi­nes­ses seem to be di­sad­van­ta­ged con­cerning pro­fit, busi­ness growth and con­se­quent­ly busi­ness suc­cess and sur­vi­val. The aim of the re­se­arch pro­ject is to get a bet­ter un­der­stan­ding of gen­der dif­fe­ren­ces in en­tre­pre­neurship, their re­a­sons and be­ha­viou­ral and so­cie­tal out­co­mes. More


Social Identity and Entrepreneurship

In­di­vi­du­als vary in their pre­fe­ren­ces for dif­fe­rent ro­les wi­t­hin their en­tre­pre­neu­ri­al ac­tivi­ties (Fau­chert & Gru­ber, 2011). En­tre­pre­neu­ri­al ac­tivi­ties such as for­ming a com­pa­ny are in­her­ent­ly so­ci­al ac­tivi­ties and en­t­er­pri­ses are so­ci­al con­structs them­sel­ves (Whet­ten & Ma­ckey, 2002). The­re­fo­re, it is use­ful to look at en­tre­pre­neurship and foun­der iden­ti­ty through the lens of so­ci­al iden­ti­ty theo­ry (Ta­j­fel, 1972; Ta­j­fel & Tur­ner, 1979). The aim of the re­se­arch pro­ject is to achie­ve a de­eper un­der­stan­ding of the pro­ces­ses of en­tre­pre­neu­ri­al so­ci­al iden­ti­ty de­ve­lop­ment and dif­fe­rent ty­pes of foun­der iden­ti­ty. Ad­di­tio­nal­ly, we are try­ing to link the dif­fe­rent ty­pes of foun­der’s so­ci­al iden­ti­ty to dif­fe­rent pre­dic­tors and en­tre­pre­neu­ri­al sustaina­bi­li­ty-re­la­ted out­co­me va­ria­bles. More


Sustainability Entrepreneurship

Sustainability entrepreneurship aims at the preservation of nature, life support, and community, while pursuing business opportunities in order to develop future products and services. The overall goal of the research project is to develop a general theory of sustainability entrepreneurship. We thus adopt a comprehensive perspective and investigate relevant factors for all three phases of the entrepreneurial process (i.e., the pre-launch, launch, and post-launch phase). More