Microfinance does not eradicate poverty

Translated from original article in norwegian found here.


This is revealed in the doctoral dissertation of Pontus Engström at the University of Agder (UiA).

– Microfinance provides a little more money in the wallet to the microentrepreneur, but they remain poor. Microfinance does not contribute to business growth or economic growth in society at large, says Engström.

He has just defended his doctoral dissertation on microfinance. Engström has followed 755 microentrepreneurs in Equador over a ten-year period. The findings show that, on average, the entrepreneurs make a little more money on their business, but not enough for the business to grow and fight poverty.

– The intention of micro-loans is to kick-start economic growth from scratch by giving small loans to poor people. Most small contractors want to grow, but that doesn’t happen. Microfinance does not help fight poverty as the scheme is used today, says Engström.

Financial illiteracy


Engström shows in the doctoral dissertation that experience and general education mean little to the development of micro-entrepreneurs. What matters, on the other hand, is an understanding of basic financial concepts.

– Lack of growth in micro enterprises is often due to financial illiteracy of the business owner. The microentrepreneur is most concerned about getting money in his wallet from day to day and is not concerned about long-term value creation, says Engström.

He believes there is a need for more training in business and finance.

– The actors lack financial skills to grow and must be offered more education in business and finance. We must not stop supporting micro-enterprises, but most preferably we must invest in small and medium-sized enterprises with 10 to 300 employees. There are too few SMEs in poor countries, especially in Africa. The lack of such companies is called “the missing middle,” says Engström.

According to the World Bank, SMEs create four out of five jobs.

– We need to support the slightly larger companies, which have the power to hire people. There is no shortage of access to micro loans, but the loans must be given to the small and medium-sized businesses that have already grown and shown that they have a market position, says Engström.

Norway with a key role
Norway plays a key role when it comes to microfinance in the world. Norad, the Mission Alliance and the Strømme Foundation are among the Norwegian players involved in microfinance in poor countries, and in 2006 the Nobel Peace Prize was awarded to Muhammad Yunus.

– Microfinance became a hype when Muhammad Yunus received the Peace Prize, says Engström.

The Bangladeshi economist received the award for developing microfinance. Yunus believes that all people are potentially entrepreneurs, but that not everyone has access to resources. When he received the Peace Prize, Yunus said that microfinance would create a world without poverty, and that in the future we would go to museums to experience poverty and unemployment.

Criticism of microfinance
Engström was among those who liked the message from the business professor, but the Peace Prize gave a brief cheer in public space before criticism began. Both Yunus and microfinance were criticized for being too big in words and too strong in ambition.

– Critical journalists claim that microfinance led to more poverty. This was partially confirmed by other research showing that microfinance has no or very little effect on the economic development of poor countries, says Engström.

He believes the peace award to Yunus has helped reinforce a romanticized image that it is good that all people are entrepreneurs.

– We have to move away from the naive idea that everyone should be their own entrepreneur. 40 per cent of Uganda’s residents are entrepreneurs, while only 6-7 per cent of the population in the Nordic countries is. Everyone does not want to be entrepreneurs, many just want a job, says Engström.

Assistance with aid
Micro businesses have up to 10 employees, but often only 2-3 employees, including the one running the business.

– Microfinance as it is practiced today simply does not have the socially changing power of Yunus as such. Microfinance is too much of an aid issue. We need to stop thinking about assistance and start thinking about business. We must think about economic growth and development, as we do in the West. Short-term thinking prolongs poverty, says Engström.

– Does this mean that microfinance players today are extending poverty in the countries they operate in?

– Microfinance gives money to the individual, but it does not develop to a small extent.

The local knowledge players that the Strømme Foundation has built up are very important for being able to further develop microfinance. I have faith in the actors working on this, but the method itself is ripe for change, says Engström.

The poorest do not get a loan

Stromme Foundation has been operating with microfinance in poor countries for several years, and is aware that the financing scheme does not always work.

– Microfinance does not work when we talk about micro loans to the very poor, says Bjørn Stian Hellgren, head of Strømme Mikrofinans AS.

– Only when a borrower has a sustainable business plan, some productivity and some values ​​in terms of products and production conditions will it make a positive contribution from a micro loan. Therefore, Stromme Foundation emphasizes that micro-loans should be linked with education and training. The borrower must have some prerequisites for us to provide micro loans, says Hellgren.

– Who gets micro loans from you?

– There are everything from small toy companies with 2-3 employees on the street in Uganda to companies with up to 10 employees.

– You have not considered changing the practice and lending to larger companies?

– So far we have not done so, but we are closely monitoring microfinance research and are constantly assessing what we can do to improve our microfinance, says Hellgren.

Babson College Entrepreneurship Conference 2016 in Bodø

The 2016 BCERC was held at Bodø in “northern” Norway (it is actually in the middle) and attracted 639 submitted abstracts of which 180 papers were accepted and 70 interactive paper sessions (kind of like speed-pitching your ideas).  In total 336 entrepreneurial researchers were present presenting 226 papers, with 24 countries represented at the conference (Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Chile, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, India, Ireland, Kazakhstan, New Zealand, Netherlands, Norway, Russian Federation, Singapore, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom and United States).

I presented my paper on Financial literacy, role models and Firm Performance in the Informal Economy of Ecuador which I am co-writing with Professor Alexander McKelvie from Syracuse. We received good feedback, especially on the idea of how challenging it is to grow in the informal economy, often because of the intense and near perfect competition.

This is good preparation for my up-coming defense on June 20th in Kristiansand.

On Monday I am presenting this study at IFN in Stockholm to a group of very tough economists. http://www.ifn.se/eng/events/brown-bag-seminars/2016-06-13-pontus-engstrom





In a sentimental mood

In the final phase of my PhD two BIG events take place. The first one happen on January 9th when my daughter Leona was born (nr 3 after Ella and Kajsa). Quite a little beauty and doing just well. Leona has her whole life in front of herself. Perhaps she will also take a PhD one day in a topic which interests her. But no pressure, she is fortunate to be born in a part of the world where she can be anything she wants.

The other major event happen on February 2nd, when my dad Per Robert Helmer passed away after some illness. My dad was a surgeon during most of his active carrier, but he actually always wanted to be a carpenter and build houses. My dad was born January 7th 1943 so he just turned 73 years old. He was one centimeter taller than me, standing proud at 1.99 m. I have always called my dad “Per”. This happened apparently because my parents were influenced by some friends of my dad, (Jonas Modig I believe), who called his parents by their first name. I also call my mother by her first name, or a nick name of Margareta: “Maggan”. However, the feeling when I say “Per” or “Maggan” is exactly the same as if I had said “dad” or “mum”. That is what it is like to be born by parents from the 1940s who were a bit rebellious in the early 1970s.

Skärmavbild 2016-02-14 kl. 19.28.49
Svenska Dagbladet February 14, 2016

I know I had a great dad, with all his human shortcomings. Although he was a typical “40-talist” (an expression used in Sweden for someone born in the 1940s) he was a very fun and loving dad. Sometimes my dad was a hero, saving or improving people´s life. I remember my old saxophone teacher in Härnösand, Rolf Hellsing, who was thrilled that Per had operated on his hand, and many of my school friends, or their parents, would at some point run into my dad for surgery or other examination. That is what it is like to grow up in a small town. Everyone knows everyone. For my own part, I have also been fortunate to have had a father who at all times could provide quick care. No need to dial 1177 (sjukvårdsupplysningen / special number to talk to a nurse) – you just ask your dad.

When I was younger we lived in Mälarhöjden, Stockholm. We lived in a red house with a big garden with several apple trees, raspberries, even cherries (bigarreaus), next to Per´s parents (our grandparents) so it was idyllic in many ways. The memories from Mälarhöjden mostly circle around the house at Pettersbergsvägen 15A and the extension we made to that, but I also remember how my dad often was picked up by the so called “Läkarbilen” (doctor´s car) for work.

Some of the friends my mum and dad used to hang out were the family Östberg and the Thelanders, just to mention a few. With the Östberg family we would join and play badminton once in a while for instance in Vårby Gård. But when I was 12 years old we had to move to another town because my dad had to find a new job. We ended up in Härnösand, but it could equally have been Vimmerby where he was also offered a job. Either way, Härnösand turned out to be a fantastic place for us to grow up in. With our dad we were mostly involved in renovating a big house in Gådeå By but also sailing a lot. Somewhere around this time he also spent one year abroad, working in Saudi Arabia and also a few months in Mo i Rana.

Sailing camp at Lungön outside of Härnösand, me, Per and my sister Hedvig.
Sailing, could this have been the trip to Fårö perhaps.

Per then worked at the emergency clinic at the hospital in Härnösand, merged with Sundsvall, for a decade before they decided to close the hospital and he had to move.  He then became the director of the emergency clinic in Finspång, until they closed that down (merged with Norrköping), and he started his own private surgical clinic in Norrköping. He ran one of the first private surgical clinics, and for most parts he did well here. 

Most recently he lived outside of Finspång in a beautiful area known as Stenstorp with Elisabeth. There he renovated a house, had sheep, worked in the forests, planted trees, made planks from the wood which he built other things with. The favorite place we had was the small boat house with a small landing-stage (brygga). We have picked blue berries, mushrooms (chanterelles), etc and really enjoyed the countryside there, including the many sheep they used to have. All children of Per and Elisabeth enjoyed going to Stenstorp for relaxing and just hanging out. Per had five children (me, Johan, Hedvig, Frida + Sofia) and Elisabeth three (Thomas, Åsa + Sofia). In Finspång the family Krig became important to my dad and Elisabeth, but also to us.

Skärmavbild 2016-02-01 kl. 10.56.49


“Bryggan” (photo: Åsa Agri)

My dad experienced a lot of things, such as seeing his father Lars Engström build Villa Engström with architect Ralph Erskine at Lisö, or when me, and his friend Tosse sailed to Fårö.

Villa Engström (1956) at Lisö

When he was young he was quite close to his grandmother Signe, who was quite nice to her grandchild. I know she helped him early on to finance the purchase of an MG (wish he had kept it…). A story we remembered when being young was when he was driving it very fast, at 180 km/hour, and the clutch stuck to the floor. (One need to remember that most cars really were not as good as the cars are today, or the roads, so this was fast….then). We liked hearing about that. Our dad was a rebel in many ways. He had one brother (Anders), and two sisters (Kajsa and Kersti). His mother, my grandma, was Eivor, known as Eve. Lars and Eve came from Lidingö, but moved to an apartment in Västberga, before finally settling in on Pettersbergsvägen 17 in Mälarhöjden.

When we were young we did a lot of sailing in the Stockholm archipelago and in the winter we would go ice skating on the Baltic sea or go downhill skiing in Idre.

My dad and I going sailing outside of Lisö, perhaps on our way to Fårö.

My dad had a lot of friends, one being in particular network of doctors, artists and writers known as “Pepparkaksordern”. This group of close friends enjoyed life and did have get togethers frequently. To me, all of the individuals in this group are unforgettable characters, legends, and I know that one could easily make a movie about the adventures of this group. Below are some of them, others include Nito (Joaquin Masoliver), Jonas Modig, and many more, with their wives . They would meet several times a year to have dinner and just enjoy life, circling around a common interest in art and literature, more recently they found inspiration in the so called Folke Dahlberg sällskapet. The friends in Pepparkaksordern were very important to my dad, and one of the things my dad was good at was to make sure they would meet often. He and Elisabeth showed enormous hospitality, as he did also when he was younger, either at his parent´s home in Mälarhöjden or at Villa Engström at Lisö.

Tosse (Tomas Jansson), Tom Bergendahl, Per, Gudde (Gudmund Blomgren)
Per och Thomas Frisk

My dad lived for most part a great life. Of course there are tough times, but for most parts he had fun, he saw the world, he had many friends, and was always on to some fun projects, apart for the last few years when Parkinson slowed him down gradually. He was always very found of growing things in the garden. When we were younger he had a big field of potatoes, and more lately he kept his fingers green in the garden at Stenstorp.



Photo taken on 18th of July 2015

A couple of years ago, my sister Sofia lived in New Zealand, and Per had a chance to visit her there as well.


His favorite music was jazz, and throughout his life he enjoyed listening to Charlie Parker, Miles Davis, Duke Ellington, Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers, Roland Kirk etc. I know he saw several jazz artists in the 1960s with his friends Jonas Modig, Tomas Jansson, Gudmund Blomgren etc and took many photos of the artists while they performed. During a few years in the 1980s he was also a fan of Dire Straits, and more recently he fell for the music of Emmilou Harris. I know that my dad´s interest in jazz must have influenced me when I was younger, although I never intentionally think I did that. My dad also played saxophone when younger, but I believe he never got very far, but during the last few years he bought a soprano sax in an attempt to pick it up again. He really liked listening and “digging” to jazz, watching his foot move with the jazz beat.

Thank you dad for all these years, for my sisters and brother and for many memories.

2015 NFB Research conference in Trondheim

One of the most exciting times when taking a PhD is the opportunity to meet with other PhD students and listen to experienced Professors from all over the world. This year we, roughly 125 students and faculty, met in beautiful Trondheim at Clarion Hotel & Congress, at the annual NFB Research conference. It is really impressing to see that Norway invests money in allowing PhD students from all across Norway in the area of Economics and Business, and it becomes an invaluable platform for allowing students to interact and build these important networks which help in not only advancing our research, but also helps in growing us as researchers.

This time I am presenting my third paper, which may be the last one I need for my PhD. This paper is entitled “Financial Literacy and Entrepreneurial Success in the Informal Economy.” The discussant was Professor Grete Hennes. The paper links in with the data collection and previous papers, but specifically focuses on the impact of Financial Literacy on the performance of small informal businesses in Ecuador. The findings indicate that those microfinance clients who are more financially literate, have more success in their business, measured in terms of profits or return on assets. The feedback from the presentation helps me in several ways:

  1. While the presentation is great, including photos of the context etc, I need to better explain in the paper the context.
  2. I need to consider other factors which could bias the result
  3. Discuss the data reliability in more detail

Keynote speakers during the conference included Professors Barbara Czarniawska, Frode Mellemvik, Ingeborg Astrid Kleppe and John Burns. For more details, please see the program. A reflection for next year is to perhaps try to get even more well known key note speakers, as the group is quite large and it would make a lot of sense to invite some of the big names in research.

In the evening we had a dinner at the business school, with a Norwegian choir entertaining…


Later we walked home and passed the so called Nidarosdomen or Nidaro´s cathedral. It was completed in 1300, but the beginning of the dome was built in 1035. It is built over the burial site of St. Olav who was a Norwegian Viking king, who has become a patron saint of Norway.


What is the Informal Economy?

This interesting TED-talk by Diana Enriquez provides a nice introduction to what my PhD is about, the Informal Economy. In India, about 84% get their employment from the informal economy, that is a little bit more than 4 out of 5 jobs. The informal economy exists even in Europe, the US and other developing countries. The informal economy is everywhere, but a lot more in developing economies. Informal businesses are businesses which operate out of sight of government regulations, either completely or to some degree. My PhD looks at how finance and specific skills like financial literacy can enhance the micro businesses of the informal economy. Currently I am working on finishing the 3-4 papers which will be used in my PhD dissertation, with the intention to submit later this year. Cheers, Pontus

MTI Investment, investing in the growth of Eastern Africa

We are launching our website now for MTI Investment.


“Mti” is Swahili for tree – symbolizing MTI’s focus on growing companies, with the potential to bear fruit from our long-term efforts of investing, coaching, mentoring and monitoring our portfolio companies.

 MTI Investment is a Tanzanian/Nordic investment company founded by Professor Trond Randøy, PhD candidate/MSc. Pontus Engström, Dr Neema Mori and Dr Gibson Munisi. Since 2012 the team has been seeking investment opportunities in Tanzania, and built the relational infrastructure with key stakeholders such as universities, legal advisers and local firms. In early 2014 the company was formally incorporated and the first initial investments were performed.

 What makes MTI Investment unique is our university-based approach to investing. We seek businesses that are run by highly competent university-educated managers and owners, and we capitalize on our university-based networks to help these businesses further excel. By being university-based we are able to be at the forefront of knowledge creation and entrepreneurship in East Africa.

From Bodø in the north to Mölle in the south

(english text below)

Har varit i Bodø i Nordnorge och konfererat (NCSB 2014) och firat 17 maj. Har presenterat ett par olika artiklar om finansiering av mikroföretag i Ecuador. Ett preliminärt resultat är att finansiering av mikroföretag i utveckingsländer inte nödvändigtvis skapar ekonomisk utveckling –> bara för att man dubblar sin verksamhet t.ex. genom ett nytt kylskåp betyder det inte att man når ut till fler kunder om antal kunder redan är konstant.  Är entreprenörskap extra svårt i utvecklingsländer och den informella sektorn kanske?

PhD Research fellows and Professors
PhD Research fellows and Professors

17 maj

17 maj

Vid ett besök i Bodø får man inte missa ett besök på Damadi där man också med fördel bör avnjuta en stycke Mjelle från mikrobryggeriet Bådin. Kanske passa på att lyssna till låten Mjelle av Terje Nilsen. Från vackra Bodø i nordland begav jag mig så till minst lika vackra Mölle på sveriges sydvästkust. ett par dagar för en konferens om svensk research kring europeisk integration. Här presenterade jag en artikel (idé än så länge) om hur finansiering av mikroentreprenörer å ena sidan ska ske utifrån marknadsprinciper, men samtidigt också ta hänsyn till samhällsnyttan. Statliga ALMI lånar idag t.ex ut pengar till en HÖGRE ränta till marknadsaktörer, vilket jag menar man kan ifrågasätta. Om Almi är en privataktör kan jag förstå deras tänkt, men ur statens perspektiv borde risken se annorlunda ut. En annan statlig aktör, Den Nordiska Investeringsbanken, ska ta hänsyn till samhällsnyttan i sin utlåning vilket också kan ifrågasättas – idag finansieras stora nordiska och utländska bolag, som t.ex. Gazprom, Tele2, Ericsson etc. Jag menar att det kan finnas andra delar av ekonomin som behöver sådan finansiering, t.ex. unga, drivna individer som idag har svårt att få finansiering till sina ideér, och hamnar i utanförskap.

Grand Hotel Mölle. © Pontus Engström
Professor Lars Oxelheim opening the conference
Professor Lars Oxelheim opening the conference. © Cheryl Marie Cordeiro
Professor Kiyohiko G. Nishimura. © Pontus Engström
Small group presentations
Small group presentations. © Cheryl Marie Cordeiro
Finansmarknadsminister Peter Norman. © Pontus Engström

Peter Norman berättade på konferensen i Mölle (SNEE 2014) att vi har för många banker i Sverige, samt att det går bra för våra svenska banker. De spekulerades lite i hur regeringen skulle reagera om en utländsk bank, t.ex. Deutsch Bank, skulle köpa upp SEB Banken. Det skulle inte Peter spontant ha något emot.

Som en ytterligare förmån av att få vara på konferensen fick vi njuta av fint väder och en middag på slottet Sofiero, där vi nere vid havet kunde se över till Danmark och Kronborg Slott. Här ses några av deltagarna.

Trond Randøy, Sougand Golesorkhi, Pontus Engström vid Sofiero slott. © Gazi Uddin
Claes Whilborg, Pontus Engström, Gazi Uddin. © Gazi Uddin.
Mingle by the sea with Kronborg Castle in the background. © Cheryl Marie Cordeiro
Dinner discussions at Sofiero Castle. © Cheryl Cordeiro
Dinner discussions at Sofiero Castle. © Cheryl Marie Cordeiro
Professor Lars Oxelheim and Professor Kiyohiko G. Nishimura in Mölle © Cheryl Marie Cordeiro
Professor Lars Oxelheim and Professor Kiyohiko G. Nishimura in Mölle © Cheryl Marie Cordeiro

From Bodø in the north to Mölle in the south

I have been to Bodø in northern Norway for a conference (NCSB 2014) and celebrated  May 17 (national day). I have presented a couple of different articles on the financing of micro-enterprises in the informal sector of Ecuador.  A preliminary result is that the financing of micro enterprises in this context does not necessarily create economic value –> just because one doubles the business by for instance buying a new refrigerator, does not mean that one reaches  more customers as the number of customers is already fixed. Entrepreneurship is perhaps more challenging in developing countries than we would like to think.

From beautiful Bodø in the north of Norway I headed to the equally beautiful Mölle on Sweden’s southwest coast for a conference on Swedish research on European integration. Here I presented a paper on the financing of micro-entrepreneurs which on the one hand should be based on market principles , yet also take account of socio-economic values ​​. The Swedish government agency ALMI lends money to entrepreneurs at a HIGHER interest rate, something which I find questionable. If ALMI were a private company, I can understand their thinking , but from a state perspective, the risks should look different, and should warrant a LOWER interest rate. Another state actor, the Nordic Investment Bank, should also take account socio-economic values ​​in their lending – which today goes to large nordic firms and international companies – such as  Gazprom , Tele2, Ericsson etc. I believe there may be other parts of the economy , such as the funding of young  and entrepreneurial individuals who have difficulty getting financing for their ideas who are today being excluded.

The minister of financial markets, Peter Norman, told us in the conference in Molle (SNEE 2014) that we have too many banks in Sweden. We speculated a bit on how the government would react if a foreign bank , such as Deutsche Bank , would buy up SEB Bank.

As an additional benefit of getting to be at the conference , we were enjoying nice weather and a dinner at the castle Sofiero, where we down at sea could see across to Denmark and Kronborg Castle. Here you see some of the participants.

Sri Lanka – are all clients of a microbank entrepreneurs?

I recently had the opportunity to spend some time in Sri Lanka with practitioners with Strømme Foundation and other leading microfinance researchers from around the world. The photo below is from University of Ruhuna.

Microfinance Research Team

We spent several days discussing various research problems, in addition to making a field visit to a microbank providing group loans to women.


When approaching the microbank the women greeted us with some leaves. I did not know what I was expected to do with these leaves so I took one, and continued into the room. A colleague then told me I was not supposed to take the leaf… Ok… I should have made a short worship and passed the leaf back….oh well..then I was told one could actually eat the leaf, so me and a colleague tried that. Then I was told that the leaf can make you feel a little “tipsy”…but don´t swallow it…because it is hot like cayenne…too late….cough…very spicy….

The microbank we visited work differently from the one I have previously met in Ecuador. They worked only with women – typically the poorest of the poor, with little entrepreneurial skills, in comparison with the people I met in Ecuador who we may call the entrepreneurial poor and were both men and women. The husbands of these women were often doing other labor work, and if this microbank had not provided a loan and help with their business, these women would likely also be doing poorly paid labour work, providing a fraction of what these businesses made. So for these women, taking a loan to do these businesses provides more income to them. However, when asked who came up with these business ideas, it was obvious that these opportunities were not discovered by these women, but rather suggested by the microbank´s credit officer. In fact, taking on this business project entailed very little risk to the women, as the resale of the bricks was guaranteed. Hence, are these women entrepreneurs, or self-employed?


This form of microfinance helps women make slightly more money than they would have earned given the availability of other jobs. They are still among the poor, but not at the lowest level. It improves their standard of living, but in some cases they built a new brick house, but continued to use their old houses which they were more used to. Obviously, we had too little time to really understand all that is going on here, and many have actually already studied this form of microfinance. This form of microfinance does reduce poverty and improves social security, but it is questionable whether it eradicates poverty and whether it has any major effects on economic development. It does offer a higher likelihood for poverty eradication to happen. It is important as there is no distribution of wealth in Sri Lanka, as it is in for instance Sweden. It is a reminder of how important it is with a social safety net, providing basic education and health care, but also some form of wealth distribution to allow people a certain basic standard of living.

Schumpeterian entrepreneurs are typically those people who make dramatic innovations, by combining resources, and create something new. One such entrepreneur can create 1000s of copy-cat entrepreneurs and 10.000s of employment opportunities. In economic development, we don´t want a large population of entrepreneurs, below 10% is roughly a good sign, not 40-50%.

Asking the microbank, we are told that there are a few clients who had been able to grow and employ more people, up to 20 employees, but this is very uncommon. However, the majority of small businesses stay small, and the form of support they receive thus become more as a form of social security. Other businesses could include small scale agriculture. The question is how these small, essentially self-employed, businesses, can become entrepreneurial ventures propelling these groups out of poverty.

Below is a short video, giving a flavor of the visit to Sri Lanka. Can highly recommend a visit.


Saltstraumen and Foundations of entrepreneurship in Bodø, Norway

5 days in Bodø, beautiful scenery, great colleagues and fun subject made for a great week. Check out video below of our visit to Saltstraumen (the world´s longest tidal current). Have just spent 5 days in northern Norway together with several other PhD students focused on many fundamental aspects of Entrepreneurship. Fun meeting a lot of smart people from all over Norway. Fun discussion with leading scholars such as Professors Johan Wiklund (Syracuse University and Stockholm School of Economics), Hans Landström (Lund University), Sara Carter (Strathclyde), Paul Westhead (Durham) and Åsa Lindholm Dahlström (Lund University). In addition, other faculty included Gry Agnete Alsos (Bodø), Espen Isaksen (Bodø) and Tommy Clausen (Bodø).

PhD course - DR430E Foundations and Future Perspectives in Entrepreneurship Research

We learnt about publishing entrepreneurship research, the roots of entrepreneurship literature, dynamic capabilities, effectuation, entrepreneurial intentions, academic entrepreneurship, financing of entrepreneurship, contextualization and possible future directions of entrepreneurship research. In addition, we received feedback on our papers and gave feedback and discussed other student´s papers. But a PhD course in the very northern part is not just Powerpoint and interesting discussions, but also enjoyable time to get to know some of the others and see the amazing fjords, mountains and the so-called “Saltstraumen” – the longest tidal current in the world, with many so-called whirlpools or maelstroms. First the water flows into the large Skerstadfjord at a high pace, and then when the fjord is filled, it starts to retrace at an equally high-speed. This particular place in Bodø has also attracted a lot of fish, and diving in this area is a very popular attraction.

Music: Gotländsk Eka, Lars Sonde on synthesizers and Pontus Engström on sopranosax