Entrepreneurial Governance Foundation

Kennis en praktijk komen samen

Samen met onze kennispartners, waaronder Hogeschool Utrecht, is begin 2013 een langlopend onderzoek gestart naar de relatie tussen goed bestuur en performance in MKB bedrijven. De inzichten, analyses en resultaten van dit onderzoek zullen gebruikt worden voor wetenschappelijke verdieping maar vooral ook voor toepassing in de MKB-praktijk. Hierbij denken we aan publicaties, benchmarks, hulpmiddelen en de verrijking van masterclasses, workshops en onderwijs (aan MKB-ondernemers en commissarissen).

Vanaf 2016 zal Entrepreneurial Governance één van de bouwstenen worden van een aantal opleidingen van de Hogeschool Utrecht.

Wij werken met onze partners intensief samen in een internationale kennis HUB (de “Entrepreneurial Governance Foundation”) MKB netwerken en ondernemers, ervaren MKB-commissarissen, overheid, financiers, nationale en internationale kennispartners. De resultaten van het onderzoek én de publicaties kunt u hier vinden.

Onze ambitie is om naast corporate governance het kennisgebied van entrepreneurial governance te ontwikkelen. En de resultaten toepasbaar te maken voor (onder andere) MKB ondernemers. Dit vraagt om een eigen vorm van governance (en niet een “light” versie van corporate governance), want de dynamiek van MKB is wel degelijk anders dan bij corporate bedrijven. Het zijn geen grote bedrijven in het klein.

In het onderstaande vind je in het Engels informatie over de foundation.

Wil je meer weten over de Entrepreneurial Governance Foundation of ben je geïnteresseerd in samenwerking?

opleiding MKB commissaris

Welcome to the entrepreneurial governance foundation!

An idea starts a company but discipline makes it grow

Entrepreneurship is not the same as governance, we all know that, in fact many entrepreneurs look like a rabbit in the headlights when the subject is brought up. But any really succesful entrepreneur knows that a sustainable business is built on a scalable, repeatable and flexible system of carefully tested routines. And these routines set you free to do what is is all about: be entrepreneurial and conquer the world with your vision, your services or your products.

There has been a lot of very good research on entrepreneurship. The research on the importance of governance on sme succes (and failure) is very pale by comparison. We think both elements deserve equal attention.

The essence of entrepreneurial governance is how to bring stability to a open and dynamic ecosystem. The essence of corporate governance is how to manage change in a (semi) closed ecosystem built on stability. Very different indeed! Or not?

So why not sme governance?

15 years ago all the previous may have applied, but no longer so. Now, for all companies dynamic change makes the difference between succes and fast failure. On top of that many big corporates are dismantling into smaller units and begin to open up to their ecosystem. Aiming to be more entrepreneurial. And so should their governance.

This is why we choose Entrepreneurial Governance, because it perfectly fits both corporate and sme companies.

Our relevance

The foundation wishes to gain scientifically based insights in entrepreneurial governance. All activities are chosen for their:

Scientific relevance

  • So much is known and researched about corporate governance and so little about entrepreneurial governance. This was amazing to us, because of the great importance of sme companies for our society and economy.  And sme’s are by no means the smaller version of a big company. And so entrepreneurial governance is not the light version of corporate governance. In fact we think that entrepreneurial governance should be the frame of thought of corporate governance.


Social relevance

  • Our economy and society change rapidly drastically. Part of the answers and innovations needed for sustainable prosperity will come from small and medium sized companies and networks. The traditional lines between profit and non profit are becoming more and more blurry. Thus creating a new connected world. To think that governance that builds these networks and companies will go on as usual is naieve.


Pratical relevance

  • We aim to make a real contribution to sme companies and entrepreneurs. To their succes, their better performance and to the factors that limit them. We do not work in a research lab, but work in close collaboration with those who are in the real world. We believe that entrepreneurial governance is the foundation of succesful entrepreneurship in the dynamic world of sme companies.


It is a non profit organisation with the aim of creating profit, purpose and prosperity for others. But first and formost: we do research on subjects that matter and we wish to spread the word to the different communities we serve.

First things first.

Since so little is known we wish to build the house of entrepreneurial governance from the ground up.

We will start with a theoretical framework based on our position paper “Entrepreneurial governance in sme companies” (Duits, Kleingeld, 2013). Alongside this we will conduct fact based research on the connection between entrepreneurial governance and performance. The results of this research will be put into practice in a very “sme proof” governance scan for entrepreneurs, giving them insights and fact based tips on how to improve their business. And obviously we will use clever data analytics and deeep learning to discover relevant patterns.

In our foundation we combine scientific clarity with entrepreneurial wisdom and we will create all the possibilities for them to multiply.

On top of this theoretical line of research we have chosen three themes based on their obvious societal and pratical relevance for sme companies. Here we take a highly practical approach to entrepreneurial governance.

  • interconnection of governance and the personal profile of the entrepreneur
  • governance and (new forms) of finance
  • impact of governance on the (succes of) various ways of growth


We kick-start with our in depth research on growth (the third focus line). We combine theoretical analysis with direct involvement and co-creation of the many entrepreneurs in our network. Our goal is to develop both tooling for ambitious entrepreneurs and data for (scientific) insight. Afsoon Qutbyar will lead the research with her promoters professor Lex van Teeffelen en professor Eddie Laveren (Antwerp University).

The results of our previous research can be found in the “inspiratie” section of this website.

The Entrepreneurial Governance Foundation is founded by:

drs. Karin Kleingeld MM (president), entrepreneur (next level mkb, kredietpaspoort, mkb kredietcoach) and researcher

dr. Lex van Teeffelen (secretary), professor of business transfers, governance and finance (Utrecht university of applied science and University of Antwerp)

dr. Hans Duits (treasurer), professor at Utrecht university of applied science

dr. Martijn Driessen, entrepreneur (founder of the Entrepreneurscan) and researcher

Afsoon Qutbyar Msc, Phd candidate, researcher

Soon we will inform you about other the members of our (research) team.

GovernanceLAB, the first edition november 7th, Utrecht

Every year we create a GovernanceLAB were we exchange innovations by SME companies, latest reseach results and you can connect with diverse communities. We intend to inspire, motivate and surprise you.

The program is being cooked up as we speak and all your ideas are welcome.

You are welcome to our first edition november 7th in Utrecht.