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Helle Neergaard

PhD, Professor

Helle Neergaard
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Helle Neergaard is Professor of Entrepreneurship at the Aarhus School of Business and Social Sciences, Aarhus University. She is also the current head of the ITIM section.

Her research passion is gender in entrepreneurship and in particular how early experiences influence self-efficacy, risk-taking behaviour and the propensity to found and grow a business. Her research is spurred by her interest in what makes some individuals become entrepreneurs and some not. She is puzzled by how men and women differ in the way that they choose to carry out their entrepreneurial efforts and activities. She undertakes qualitative research because it gives her the possibility to explore and understand other people’s perspectives on the world we all inhabit.

Before joining Aarhus University, she spent several years abroad studying and working in industry in the UK. She has ten year’s boardroom experience from the non-profit organization European Council of Small Business of which she was president from 2013-15. She continues to run the yearly doctoral workshop for the organization and co-head its Special Interest Group on Gender. She also served for a number of years as board member at the Women’s Museum in Denmark.

Helle Neergaard is a member of the international organization for research into women’s entrepreneurship, DIANA. Apart from her work with and about female entrepreneurs, she has developed a strong competence in qualitative methods and she is lead editor of Handbook of Qualitative Research Methods in Entrepreneurship (2007), with a sequel Handbook of Qualitative Research Techniques being published in 2012 by Edward Elgar. Recently, her research has taken a new direction into entrepreneurship education and entrepreneurial pedagogy, and she is bringing her insight from teaching entrepreneurship to bear on her research. She was PI of the PACE project, a DKK 20 mill research project supported by the Strategic Research Foundation, which was completed in 2016. She has won international recognition for her work and best paper awards at numerous research conferences and she is the 2018 European Entrepreneurship Educator co-laureate with her colleague Per Blenker.

Her areas of expertise include:

  • Precursors to entrepreneurship
  • Entrepreneurship and gender
  • Entrepreneurial careers
  • Industry studies (e.g. wine, knitting)
  • New venture establishment and growth
  • Entrepreneurship education
  • Qualitative methods

Her research publications have appeared in international entrepreneurship journals such as: Entrepreneurship, Theory and Practice; International Small Business Journal; Journal of Enterprising Culture; International Journal of Gender and Entrepreneurship; International Journal of Entrepreneurial Behaviour and Research; Journal of Small Business and Enterprise Development; Education & Training; Industry and Higher Education. In 2010 her ISBJ paper on social networks was the fourth most cited in the in the first decade of the century. She editor in chief of IJGE and co-editor at IJEBR. She is on the editorial advisory board ETP. Her editorial contributions also include being co-editor of various special issues.

Helle Neergaard teaches entrepreneurship, social innovation and qualitative methods at the PhD, Master and Bachelor levels and has supervised several doctoral students on topics as diverse as entrepreneurship and growth, rural entrepreneurship and entrepreneurship education.

She is visiting professor at Manchester Metropolitan University, and has been visiting professor at Aalto University, Leeds University  and OTH in Regensburg, Germany.

Outside academia she practices entrepreneurship through the co-ownership of a Danish vineyard.

For more detailed information find her at google scholar or research gate or peruse her publications at PURE.

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