Skip to ContentSkip to Navigation
About us Campus Fryslân Centre for Sustainable Entrepreneurship PhD research

Student projects class of 2020/2021

Here you can find an overview of all student projects, including the abstracts and presented posters.

Class of 2021
Class of 2021

Bernard:

Before the advent of fast fashion in the 1980s, people used to make and take care of their clothes. Nowadays, the emotional attachment to the fashion products is increasingly poor, the consumer lacks awareness and is almost no longer a user of their garments. This paper explores the way social movements are fighting to restore the roots of a sustainable fashion production system and provide their audience with ‘slow’ food for thought. Indeed, this research analyzes the revival of slower principles fostered by fashion activists who try to educate and raise awareness on the fast fashion industry mechanisms. This qualitative case study depicts the approaches of five activists during the Fashion Revolution Week (April 19 to 25, 2021). It is based on semi-structured interviews triangulated with the actual discourse that the interviewees had during the events they attended. The main aim of this research is to aggregate the various dimensions of the tales they embody and weave the fabric of their collective fight for sustainable clothing production. The findings show that their movement is more oriented towards a re-evolution and that it is deeply embedded in their personal relationships to materials and garments.

Poster


Boonstra:

Sustainable fashion entrepreneurs (SFEs) operate in an industry that lacks sustainable options. As a result, SFEs encounter several barriers in finding a sustainable supplier. This paper looks at the process of sustainable supplier selection for SFEs. Specifically, the barriers they encounter in finding a supplier and the strategies used to overcome these. A cross-sectional case study of seven SFEs was done. Semi-structured interviews were conducted to gather data on the process of supplier selection. From this data, a grounded theory approach was used to map the general journey of SFEs in supplier selection. The results show that SFEs use multiple strategies to overcome the barriers that exist in the current system. SFEs gather information (causation), learn as they go (bricolage), creatively use the available resources (bricolage), try multiple leads and techniques (bricolage), create partnerships (effectuation), balance values (effectuation) and stay flexible to new opportunities (effectuation). The dominant strategies were bricolage and effectuation which helped the entrepreneurs deal with uncertainties that exist in the niche they operate in. Therefore, supplier selection for SFEs is a creative process that moves away from a well-thought-through causational strategy towards a creative “learn as you go” process.

Poster


Bruns:

In order to make the world economy more sustainable, the establishment and growth of sustainable enterprises is important. However, sustainable enterprises are less likely to grow in comparison to traditional enterprises. This is partly influenced by the sustainable entrepreneur and its motivations. This research aims to better understand the relationship between established sustainable entrepreneurs’ motivations and their decisions to grow their business. It uses regulatory focus theory to structure the data regarding motivation and to dig deeper in the underlying processes of goal attainment.

The results of this research are based on seven interviews with sustainable entrepreneurs that started their business more than five years ago. The main findings suggest that sustainability becomes more important to sustainable entrepreneurs through the years and that sustainable entrepreneurs tend to work more on internal affairs rather than on growing their business. The conclusion of this research states that in the years after starting their business, sustainable entrepreneurs take on a stronger prevention regulatory focus, resulting in more focus on internal affairs rather than growth. This shift is induced by the changes mentioned in the results.

Poster


Buis:

Sustainable waste companies currently lack visibility to create formal networks. As the smart region concept is gaining importance, sustainable waste companies can be a facilitator of a smart region as smart waste management is an important factor in the realisation of this concept. To increase visibility, sustainable waste companies could use the smart region concept and their facilitating role as a symbol in their branding strategy. Currently, there is a knowledge gap on how to use this concept in corporate branding. A multiple case study using semi-structured interviews with both people form collaborative initiatives and people from organizations that are a member of an initiative indicate that the corporate brand of a company could use the themes an initiative focuses on and their membership as a symbol in the corporate branding strategy with an accent on the geographical aspects and the role the company has in it. The study proposes that a sustainable waste company can take upon their facilitating role by gathering the right stakeholders. The involvement of stakeholders and citizens will create a support base for the smart region brand, increase legitimacy and reinforces mutual promotion.

Poster


Boer, de:

The current paper aims to investigate what barriers sustainable entrepreneurs face when setting up their business, and how they can be overcome in the context of Fryslân, the Netherlands. Enabling these entrepreneurs to conquer such barriers marks a step towards a stronger, more sustainable entrepreneurial ecosystem, or sustainable valley. Similarly, it will help the province in reaching its circularity goals, while stimulating sustainable entrepreneurial activity. Each entrepreneurial ecosystem has its own, unique characteristics, and studying those of the province of Fryslân results in a better understanding of real-life situations and practices, thereby increasing existing empirical knowledge of entrepreneurial ecosystems and their respective barriers. Semi-structured interviews with both entrepreneurs and essential ecosystem actors indicate that the first steps towards a stronger, more successful ecosystem have been undertaken. Nonetheless, the province of Fryslân still has a long way to go in order to become a true sustainable valley.

Poster


Dijkhoff:

Intangible cultural heritage preservation is becoming more critical in the light of economic growth, social transformation, and globalization. Tourism can play an important role in intangible heritage preservation but simultaneously poses a threat to its survival and a communities ecological and authentic well-being. Sustainable community-based tourism (SCBT) addresses these adverse effects by balancing the needs of local communities, preserve intangible heritage, and meet tourists' needs. However, this potential of tourism has rarely been fully realized and limited research is available on how it can be managed and achieved. This research studies how SCBT can be implemented to safeguard intangible heritage. By applying the 7Es model of sustainable tourism management a destinations current state based on the SCBT criteria is assessed. The findings show that a quadruple helix cooperation between intangible heritage communities, the government, the tourism sector and academia for the successful implementation of SCBT.

Poster


Dreis:

Urban mobility is subject to many forms of sexism, many of which can be traced back to the different activities carried out by women and men and their resulting mobility patterns. This thesis aims to uncover these sexisms in urban mobility and compile existing feminist solutions across all levels of urban mobility - namely the (1) policy-making, (2) planning, (3) organisational, (4) academic, and (5) educational level - to create a feminist urban mobility. Recommendations for action are given across all levels, including the gender mainstreaming of policies, the diversification of planning teams, the development of gender-sensitive mobility products and services, the implementation of observational and participatory research, and the diversification of the public debate, among others.

Poster


Gunkel:

Environmental and social innovations within urban freight transport are essential tackling sustainable challenges. The current debate of sustainable innovations in urban freight transport mainly focuses on how companies can create and add environmental and ecological value to their products and services. Social innovations are rarely addressed in urban freight transport. This research addresses the knowledge gap about challenges parcel service providers face when developing and implementing social innovations and how social innovations can be further integrated in urban freight transport. Semi-structured interviews were used in one case study in the parcel delivery sector. There are different challenges to integrate social innovations for different stakeholders like employees, customers and the society. Therefore, future social innovations in organizations need other measurement factors than profitability. Further, an awareness has to be created, so that customers are able to consciously decide for a parcel delivery company that is socially innovative. Thus, holistic social innovations for the society can be created.

Poster


Heuvelen, van:

Facing global climate change, one of the transitions the world has to make is the shift from a fossil-fuel based energy system to a sustainable energy system. The replacement of centralised electricity generation sources to renewable electricity sources requires adequate land. Accordingly, these decentralised, renewable electricity generation sources will be more locally and closer to the users. It is recognized that social acceptance is the constraining factor in achieving public support for building renewable energy projects. Therefore, through semistructured interviews with representatives of several organizations that successfully initiated solar-parks with community acceptance, an answer to this thesis’ main research question has been formulated. It is found that a constructive collaboration with the local government, a clear (communication) framework and open negotiation processes are significant important factors in the creation of community acceptance. Furthermore, a constructive collaboration with the municipality indicates the need for socio-political acceptance first, before the creation of community acceptance can be accomplished. However, it is found that a clear framework is frequently missing and vagueness about definitions is lacking in practice. Therefore, future research should focus on the construction of unified frameworks and processes to create community acceptance.

Poster


Hollander:

Due to a higher sensitivity for social and environmental issues globally, it is becoming increasingly important for companies to measure their sustainable performance and to communicate it to the outside world. One possible solution for this are sustainability certifications. Therefore, more and more certificates, labels and quality marks are appearing on the market. This variety creates confusion not only among consumers, but also among companies. This study aims at finding a suitable sustainability certification for a company that is confronted with the question of which certification is appropriate. Based on existing literature, the most important relationships between certifications, sustainable performance and communication are elaborated. With the help of two focus group meetings the process of their decision making was accompanied, and it was provisionally agreed on two certifications. The results show the drivers, barriers and expectations that should be considered when choosing a new certification. Additional recommendations in the form of a short step by step guide are developed, which will be of help to other companies.

Poster


Kuiken:

In recent history organizations across the world are dealing with an increasing number of cultures in the workforce due to factors like migration and globalization. For organizations to thrive it is essential to understand how to implement this cultural diversity into the organization to ensure the organization is future-proof. In support of this organizational need this paper aims to investigate how employee engagement can help organisations in implementing cultural diversity in the workforce. Often when organisations attempt to implement cultural diversity this is done from a top to bottom approach. This paper aims to give insight in the perspectives from employees and how a bottom-up approach might be more effective when attempting to incorporate cultural diversity within an organisation. After reviewing antecedent literature, a qualitative research in the form of a case study of VodafoneZiggo is represented. Empirical data from semi-structured interviews with culturally diverse employees has been compared and contrasted to detect important elements for the implementation of cultural diversity within the organisation. Two core elements discovered were Language and recognition. For future research adopting a cross-cultural approach to this problem is recommended, where employee engagement in different cultural contexts in examined.

Poster


Menke:

The implementation of business models which facilitate the transition to a circular economy, is hindered by a set of ‘barriers to the circular economy’. These are categorized in a general framework. To further develop our understanding of these barriers, this thesis performed a qualitative case study on a specific sector and researched how and what kind of challenges are experienced by organizations facilitating the reuse and redistribution of cameras. The results reveal a set of insightful challenges which can be categorized within the existing broad themes of barriers. However, some detailed barriers differ from the general framework, showing that its specifics change per context. The cultural, regulatory, market-related, and technological barriers found, present considerations for organizations transitioning to similar business models and propose topics for discussion for regulation and policymakers.

Poster


Messiaen:

The degrowth movement is perceived by many as the best alternative to the current capitalist system from an environmental sustainability viewpoint. However, there is still some ambiguity about degrowth’s perspective on business and most specifically digital businesses. In order to shed light on how digital businesses can approach degrowth, this paper uses Hankammer et al (2021) business degrowth criteria to find out where Ecosia, a search engine that uses the profit made from internet searches to plant trees, fits in the degrowth discourse. By doing so this study links up the concepts of degrowth and digital business that are usually perceived as incompatible.

Poster


Mittelstaedt:

This paper aims at examining the challenges a company faces when implementing circular economy within their company. Circular economy is viewed as a possible solution to combat environmental degradation caused by the current economic model. In order to apply circular economy as a macro level concept it needs to be examined at company level first as a prerequisite. It is important to ensure its feasibility on company level so that it can be upscaled to macro level. During the transition to circular economy at company level challenges emerge from market restrictions and governmental policies. For the examination of these factors semistructured interviews were held. Company members were interviewed to obtain their perception of the challenges faced when implementing circular economy into their companies. The results show that various challenges are perceived and that the companies have specific ideas on how to combat them. Challenges perceived were insufficient infrastructure, governmental regulations and communication with customers. Interestingly, a gap between theory and reality concerning the most influential actors for change was identified by the interviewees. The information in the paper is useful for policy makers and entrepreneurs wanting to implement circular economy into their businesses.

Poster


Papo:

The capital ecosystem in Groningen is underperforming, that is why we ask the question: Why is Groningen as a capital ecosystem underperforming according to startups and investors? We build on the capital ecosystem theory of Lerner, Leamon & Garcia-Roble, where different factors are embedded in the capital ecosystem. The factors (startups, investors, networks, partners, the legal and regulatory framework and exit sources) determine the extent to which the intensity and prevalence of investment are performing well. We apply a single case study in the capital ecosystem of Groningen. With semi structured interviews we gathered data among 8 startups and 8 investors. We found that the capital ecosystem of Groningen lacks three factors. First, there is a lack of diversity and quantity of capital. Most capital is coming from the same sources, there are few private investors, investor teams are not diverse and there are no investors with a sustainability-oriented focus. Our second finding is the lack of transparency. Startups want to know what to do, at which moment of growth. And our last finding is that the current style of investing is conservative. This means that investors are risk-averse, taking lots of equity or keeping startups in suspense.

Poster


Rusch:

Sustainable Development is considered to play a major role in overcoming threats such as social inequality or degradation of the environment. Consequently, increased attention is given to corporations and how they can contribute through sustainable innovation. This study aims at finding out what role nudging could play in the sustainable innovation management of organizations. Scholars have mostly focused on nudging on a policy level, thus a research gap in the field of nudging on an organizational level can be detected. This single-case builds on a qualitative research design including six semi-structured interviews to advance organizational theory on sustainability. Moreover, the results helped to understand the role of a bottom-up approach for sustainable innovation and make recommendations on how to foster it with the use of nuding. Major findings include barriers on employee level regarding sustainable innovation, desired support from management and motivational factors for sustainable innovation creation.

Poster


Sendelbach:

Rental fashion has emerged as a new business model that offers fashion consumers to satisfy their demand for new trends and quickly changing wardrobes while considering aspects of sustainability. This study aims at finding out how new opportunities for sustainable fashion consumption can be created by integrating consumers into the business strategy through the service of fashion rental. Based on existing literature discussing the consumer’s role in sustainable fashion as well as the circular economy and collaborative consumption, opportunities how sustainable consumption can be facilitated are identified. A cross-sectional research design, using semi-structured interviews, was chosen in order to explore the context of rental fashion businesses to answer the proposed research question. The results indicate that by integrating consumers into the business strategy, rental fashion is able to use market barriers of the linear fashion system as advantage to satisfy the consumer’s demand for novelty and variety in their wardrobe while considering sustainability in their consumption behavior.

Poster


Sonnier:

In response to the consequences of urbanisation, including the production of over 70% of global emissions and the increase in social inequalities, cities have set themselves ambitious missions to catalyse innovative solutions for the transition to a circular economy. This exploratory research examines the conditions for such missions to trigger the development of an innovative system to support cities in this transition. While several studies have been conducted on the narrative of the circular economy as a 'way of doing', this article adopts the position of the circular economy as a 'way of thinking'. To further explore the conceptual diversity of the circular economy, this article uses the method of rapid ethnography in the context of a Dutch region pursuing a circular mission. The results highlight that a mission alone is not enough to create an innovative and inclusive system as the underlying narrative lacks congruency, suggesting that the circular economy may not be the most compelling narrative for the sustainability mission of cities.

Poster


Speck:

Rapid technological advancements contributed to the emergence of Digital Storytelling, which received increased interest among scholars and social entrepreneurship (SE) practitioners to empower marginalized communities. This study aims to explore the phenomenon of Digital Storytelling and investigate the drivers, activities, and barriers of SE practitioners applying digital narratives in a developing country context. Thereby, the goal is to explore how SE contributes to the empowerment of disadvantaged communities through Digital Storytelling. Twelve qualitative, semi-structured interviews are conducted with Digital Storytelling experts in the context of SE. These inquiries yield insights concerning the outcomes of Digital Storytelling, essential elements to curate an empowering story, the role of the storyteller, and the challenges encountered; thereby advancing theory by enabling a cross-disciplinary perspective of Digital Storytelling and contributing to practice by providing eight practical recommendations for SE practitioners. The aim of these recommendations is to increase value for disadvantaged communities through Digital Storytelling.

Poster


Thomas:

This study investigates the relationship between open government data and the circular economy, as the former is currently mainly related to social, economic and political benefits, but not yet to environmental ones. Despite the underdeveloped relationship, open government data could provide valuable insights for companies, providing the necessary information for the development of a circular business model. Therefore, this research aims to establish the connection between the two, investigating whether the utilization of open government data promotes circular business models. The results of the regression analysis, which only partially supported the hypothesis, indicate that further research is needed into the optimal use of open government data and the appropriate data to foster the development of circular business models.

Poster


Thomazeau:

American Native communities are stepping away from the silence and showing their right to their cultural heritage, which can be found in museums because of colonization. Museums are trying to shift from a colonial attitude to decolonization in their exhibitions. Yet, the process is ongoing, European museums are still lagging behind American ones. Therefore, European museums have to learn from Native communities, although being geographically far away. By using a comparative approach with a qualitative strategy, this study shows the difference between European and American museums, and the struggles they are facing to integrate Native communities in the creation of exhibitions. This research advocates for a comprehensive methodology using the Sustainable Development Goals to co-create value and to integrate common international groundwork for the improvement of the collaboration between Natives and museums.

Poster


Tuinstra:

This thesis aims to find an answer on the question of what the current level of sustainability awareness among employees is and how it is raised in the food industry. In this thesis, the main concepts of sustainability in the food industry and sustainability awareness among employees are explained. In order to answer the main question, the research uses the case study of Helwa which is a wafer manufacturer in the Netherlands. It does so by examining the current knowledge and perception within the organization about sustainability by selecting data through interviews. Outcomes suggests that there is a respective level of sustainability awareness among employees and employees perceive sustainability as an important topic. The employees feel motivated to engage in sustainability, but have more practical constraints like additional costs and technology which keeps them from truly integrating sustainability in their daily operations. Future research might be able to help solve these constraints, but also see whether sustainability awareness levels are respective among employees in the food industry in other cases and across multiple countries.

Poster


Vries, de:

Cities are growing everywhere. With this growth comes the challenge of supplying the cities and its citizens. This supply of cities brings several negative effects to its citizens, such as air pollution and negative health effects. To divert negative effects and further nuisance, solutions need to be found. One such solution is setting up a Sustainable City Logistics Hub. Through these hubs goods traveling into the city are bundled and consolidated. This research aims to find out what roles need to be fulfilled through partnerships to make such a hub successful. Several potential partners were interviewed to find their views on partnerships in Sustainable City Logistics Hubs. The results show that four categories of partnerships are needed, namely: equipment, consolidation, government, and set up partners. Besides these categories of needed partnerships, the results also showed different challenges the interviewees faced while partnering in Sustainable City Logistics Hubs.

Poster


Walsh:

This qualitative interview-based research investigates the potential barriers, drivers and activities that are associated with solar energy parks, biodiversity and policy in the Netherlands. The energy transition and combating climate change is thought to be some of the greatest challenges that we as a society face. Therefore, the purpose of this research was to discover the possible ways to encourage the development of solar parks in order to stimulate biodiversity. Seven semi-structured interviews took place with a purposeful sample of solar industry stakeholders. Through the use of literature from the fields of Climate Change and Renewable Energy Policy, Biodiversity and Conservation Policy, and Political Science Theory, it was recognised that solar parks can indeed protect and stimulate biodiversity, however, the development of a solar park faces numerous complex challenges. Using ATLAS.ti three cycles of analysis were completed resulting in four barriers, three drivers, and three activities. The key barriers were regulatory, biodiversity, the current system and establishment. Regulation, developers and biodiversity protection were the main drivers of solar park establishment and the protection of biodiversity. Additionally, the primarily associated activities were regulatory, biodiversity protection and possible solutions.

Poster


Wawer:

A lack of awareness on the importance of menstrual health in the past has led to severe societal problems arising in relation to menstruation. Menstruators around the globe deal with discrimination and social exclusion due to their period. Current developments show an increase in the interest in the topic. Mission-driven organizations in the field are engaging in broadly involving the topic into society by creating social impact trough awareness-spreading. This paper investigates collaboration strategies which are applied by such organizations to create social change. The inductive multiple-case study involves Western-European organizations and provides a conceptual framework showing dependencies and relations of organization-specific aspects, collaboration strategies and the perceived social impact which is created.

Poster


Winkel:

Clothing and textiles contribute significantly to the global accumulation of waste. The circular economy has been proposed as a solution to adopt a more sustainable behaviour in the fashion industry by reusing and recycling discarded clothing items to minimize waste. This study looks at the potential of integrating local waste into supply chains to strengthen the sustainability of circular fashion business models. By using a qualitative research design based on a multiplecase study method, this study helps assessing the feasibility and desirability of local loops with the aim of driving the development of circular fashion in the Netherlands forward. The results show that closing loops locally could and should be attained with reusing activities. In terms of recycling, locality has a lower priority, as the high costs and lacking facilities in the Netherlands hinder the viability of such business models. The study concludes with a list of factors that are relevant to transition to a more sustainable Dutch fashion industry and emphasizes the need to consider transport and location when introducing circular solutions.

Poster

Last modified:07 July 2021 2.22 p.m.