Field of Expertise «Entrepreneurial Development»

Dr. Alexander Fust

Dr. Alexander Fust

Internal researchers:

Julian Kolbe


Project manager, research associate

Büro 1-321
Dufourstrasse 40a
9000 St. Gallen

Noah Bellwald


Research associate

Büro 1-352
Dufourstr. 40a
9000 St. Gallen

Eduard Muqaj


Research associate

Büro 1-321
Dufourstrasse 40a
9000 St Gallen

External researchers: Prof. Dr. Tobias Jenert Universität Paderborn, Prof. Dr. Christoph Winkler IONA College NY

Entrepreneurial development in uncertain contexts

Digitization, new business models, great uncertainty. Against this backdrop, it is clear that the further development of entrepreneurial personalities is crucial in order to be able to guarantee one's own competitive position in the future.

Our research deals with the following topics:

  • How do entrepreneurs search for new business ideas?
  • How can entrepreneurs learn more systematically in order to obtain the relevant information more efficiently and effectively?
  • How do entrepreneurs regulate their motivation especially in times of such great uncertainty and remain productive?
  • What does digitization actually mean for entrepreneurs?
  • What AI applications can SMEs use?

Key publications


Main project 2021-2023

SNF project «Self-regulation and dealing with uncertainty: How to support entrepreneurs to better cope with uncertain decision-making»

Our research activities include contributions to basic and applied research.

Contributions to basic research:

In basic research, we are interested in two topics. 1. information search processes for business ideas and 2. self-regulated learning.

1. Information search processes for business ideas: We have been able to show in our research that entrepreneurs search for business ideas mostly passively, actively and systematically. In addition to developing a new scale, we have also been able to show what favours the development of innovative business ideas.

2 Self-regulated learning: An important concept in pedagogy in research and teaching for 20 years, this concept has not yet fully established itself in the field of entrepreneurship. It is about entrepreneurs being able to learn more systematically with this approach and above all to regulate their cognition and motivation. As a consequence, they can further develop their learning processes, learning activities and learning strategies. We have developed a new scale and are investigating how self-regulated learning unfolds by entrepreneurs, what the results of these processes are and how it can be promoted in entrepreneurship education.

Contributions to applied research:

We also implement the above-mentioned themes in applied research, for example by mirroring the results with groups of exchanges of experience and further developing the approach. We also introduced elements from this into our SME leadership competence framework concept.

In addition to these topics, we are interested in how digitisation can be made more concrete and comprehensible for SMEs. We would like to show tools and possibilities how SMEs can benefit from digitisation.

Impact and transfer

All these topics are implemented in different forms in the field of transfer. Lectures are given at events of entrepreneurs, workshops are held with entrepreneurs or the findings are incorporated into our groups of exchange of experience.

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