Friederike Welter What is the Importance of Context in Entrepreneurship Research?

Friederike Welter is Professor of SME Management and Entrepreneurship at the University of Siegen and President of the IfM (Institut für Mittelstandsforschung) in Bonn. Formerly Professor and Associate Dean of Research at Jönköping International Business School (Sweden), Welter’s main research interests include small business development and entrepreneurship and how those operate in different national and cultural contexts. A former President of the European Council for Small Business and Entrepreneurship, Welter is associate editor of the journal Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice.

Area of Research

Applied & Policy-related Research on Entrepreneurship, Small Business, Women´s Entrepreneurship, SME and Entrepreneurship Policies

since 2013


Institut für Mittelstandsforschung (IfM) (more details)

since 2013

Professor for SME Management and Entrepreneurship

University of Siegen (Universität Siegen)



Jönköping International Business School



University of Siegen (Universität Siegen)



RWI – Leibniz Institute for Economic Research


Deputy Head

RWI – Leibniz Institute for Economic Research

Research Division "Entrepreneurship and Enterprise Performance"



Ruhr University Bochum (Ruhr-Universität Bochum)


Doctoral Thesis

Ruhr University Bochum (Ruhr-Universität Bochum)


Degree in Economics and Business Administration (Diplom)

Ruhr University Bochum (Ruhr-Universität Bochum)

- Associate Editor of Entrepreneurship Theory & Practice (since 2009)

- EXIST, Advisory Board (since 2006)

- European Council of Small Business and Entrepreneurship (ECSB), President (2007-2009)


- Wilford L. White Fellow (since 2014)

- European Council of Small Business and Entrepreneurship (ECSB)

- TeliaSonera Professorship of Entrepreneurship at the Stockholm School of Economics, Riga (since 2005)

© Axel Kirch / CC BY-SA 4.0 (via Wikimedia Commons)

Institut für Mittelstandsforschung (IfM)

Bonn, Germany

The Institut für Mittelstandsforschung (IfM) Bonn was established in 1957 as a foundation of private law on the initiative of Ludwig Erhard, then Minister of Economic Affairs (and later German Chancellor). Founders are the Federal Republic of Germany and the Federal State of North Rhine-Westphalia. The institute's task is to analyse the status-quo, development and problems of Mittelstand companies and small and medium-sized enterprises, to develop recommendations for SME policies and to disseminate its research results to the general public.


Fieldwork has demonstrated that entrepreneurial behavior and economic theory do not work in the same ways in different national, cultural or regulatory contexts. In this video, FRIEDERIKE WELTER analyzes the importance of context in entrepreneurship research. Developing an interdisciplinary approach that draws on insights from philosophy, anthropology, ethnology, and linguistics, Welter examines how contextual issues have been addressed in these fields. With relevance for entrepreneurship education and research as well as for policymakers, Welter’s work highlights the importance of developing a process view of how entrepreneurship is contextualized.

LT Video Publication DOI:

Contextual Entrepreneurship: An Interdisciplinary Perspective

  • Ted Baker and Friederike Welter
  • Foundations and Trends® in Entrepreneurship
  • Published in 2018
Ted Baker and Friederike Welter. "Contextual Entrepreneurship: An Interdisciplinary Perspective." Foundations and Trends® in Entrepreneurship 14 (2018): 357–426. doi:10.1561/0300000078.