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Personal profile

Personal information

Elco van Burg is a part-time associate professor of Entrepreneurship and Organization at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam. Most of the time he is living and working in a social enterprise in the rural highlands of Papua (Indonesia) as consultant for education and management (see www.lentera-vanburg.nl). He holds a PhD Eindhoven University in entrepreneurship, as well as an MSc. Degree (cum laude) in Industrial Engineering and Management Sciences from Eindhoven University of Technology and a M.A. degree (cum laude) in Theology from Utrecht University.


Elco's research focuses on the role of imagination and actions of entrepreneurs in relation to their social context. Most of the studies employ process perspectives and some of them focus on providing knowledge and tools to engage in (re)designing entrepreneurship processes. For instance, Elco is currently leading a project on examining and potentially redesigning entrepreneurship and technology transfer mechanisms in the European space sector, co-funded by the Dutch Space Agency and ESA. 


Elco teaches a Master course on entrepreneurship research skills and supervises Master theses on entrepreneurship in the European Space Sector as well as the Indonesian context (preferably by Indonesian-speaking students). Moreover, he is involved in the supervision of a number of PhD students (Progress Choongo, Mwansa Chabala, Amr Farouk, Daniel Sagath, Etienne Schraven, Aun Falestien).  


Elco got the following research and teaching grants.

  • ESA and NSO (2014-2018): Funding for a PhD project on entrepreneurship and technology transfer in the space sector, funded by the European Space Agency and the Netherlands Space Office. T
  • Nuffic (2013), Bhutan: Tailor-made-training for business developers from Bhutan on the topic ‘business development and strategic financial and investment analysis”.
  • EU Directorate Enterprise - E-Force (2009-2011): This project involved the development of  21 high quality teaching cases on entrepreneurial decision making (total sum: € 684.000), with seven partners from The Netherlands, Belgium, Spain, Germany and Norway. For more information, see eforce-cases.blogspot.com.
  • SenterNovem - CASINDO (2010-2011): Training university staff in Indonesia in technology transfer, cooperation between  universities and industry and academic entrepreneurship.
  • EU SUCCESS (2009): Start-up summer school for researchers and potential entrepreneurs in green energy, with TKK and HSE (Finland), as a ‘pre-KIC’ for the EIT.
  • EU Interreg IIIC – Mateo IV E-Clue (2006-2007): Work package in which we developed a web-based entrepreneurship course. 

Ancillary activities

  • Lentera Papua | Wamena | Adviseur | 2014-09-01 - present
  • Reformatorisch Dagblad | Amersfoort | Columnist | 2014-11-01 - present

Ancillary activities are updated daily

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Research Output 2007 2019

Identifying design principles for business incubation in the European space sector

Sagath, D., van Burg, J. C., Cornelissen, J. & Giannopapa, C., 2019, (Accepted/In press) In : Journal of Business Venturing Insights. 11, 13 p.

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Initial networking processes of student entrepreneurs: The role of action and evaluation

Kaandorp, M. S., van Burg, J. C. & Karlsson, T., 2019, In : Entrepreneurship: Theory and Practice. 30 p.

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Open Access

Business incubation practices and mechanisms in the European space sector

Sagath, D., van Burg, J. C., Cornelissen, J. & Giannopapa, C., 2018.

Research output: Contribution to ConferencePaperAcademic

Entrepreneurs’ personal values and CSR orientations: evidence from SMEs in Zambia

Choongo, P., Paas, L. J., Masurel, E., van Burg, E. & Lungu, J., 3 Sep 2018, (Accepted/In press) In : Journal of Small Business and Enterprise Development. 26 p.

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Personal values
Small and medium-sized enterprises
Corporate Social Responsibility

Activities 2012 2018

  • 4 PhD thesis examination
  • 4 Lecture / Presentation
  • 1 Editorial work

Small firm growth in a Least Developed Country: How small firm owners affect the growth of their firms in Zambia Mwansa

Elco van Burg (Examiner)
3 Oct 2018

Activity: PhD thesis ExaminationPhD thesis examination

Why some SMEs grow and others do not: Towards an opportunity-centric growth theory

Elco van Burg (Examiner)
7 Sep 2017

Activity: PhD thesis ExaminationPhD thesis examination

Training social entrepreneurship for business unit managers of Cordaid

J.C. van Burg (Speaker)

Activity: Lecture / PresentationAcademic

Co-promotor of Sharon Dolmans' dissertation "The people behind the technology : decision making in technology commercialisation"

J.C. van Burg (Examiner)

Activity: PhD thesis ExaminationPhD thesis examination


Press / Media

Kracht van de verbeelding

J.C. van Burg


1 media contribution

Press/Media: Other

Hulp die pijn veroorzaakt

J.C. van Burg


1 media contribution

Press/Media: Other

Leren van amateurs

J.C. van Burg


1 media contribution

Press/Media: Other

Religie en hulpverlening

J.C. van Burg


1 media contribution

Press/Media: Other

De balk en de splinter

J.C. van Burg


1 media contribution

Press/Media: Other