This article has been translated with Deepl.

LISTA | A firework display of entrepreneurship research

House of innovation vid Handelshögskolan i Stockholm leder ligan med flest avhandlingar inom innovation och entreprenörskap 2023.

In 2023, 54 dissertations in innovation and entrepreneurship research saw the light of day. This is a new record – and we have the list of the universities that delivered the most.

Last year, 54 doctoral students from a total of 17 higher education institutions obtained their PhDs in the fields of innovation, entrepreneurship and small business. ESBRI has interviewed the researchers and written popular science news articles on the research results, which are available in Articles.

New record

Magnus Aronsson. Photo: Viktor Aronsson.

Since the annual mapping of doctoral theses started in 2020, there has been a steady flow of theses, between 33 and 37 per year. The fourth survey, for 2023, thus sets a new record with 54.

– It is very gratifying that innovation and entrepreneurship research is so strong in Sweden. Society and the world are facing a number of major challenges, and I am convinced that much of the research we monitor will be part of the solution. We are very happy to be able to help spread all this socially beneficial research,” says Magnus Aronsson, CEO of Esbri.

Two rockets in the top list

The three universities that top the list are the Stockholm School of Economics with 8 dissertations, and the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences and Lund University with 7 each.

While Lund University has nailed an even number of dissertations over the past four years, the other two universities stand out in this year’s list. In the last four years, the Stockholm School of Economics has delivered a total of 9 theses in this area, 8 of which are due in 2023. And the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences nailed a total of 10 theses in the last four years, including 7 last year.

Magnus Mähring heads the House of Innovation at the Stockholm School of Economics.
Magnus Mähring. Photo: Juliana Wiklund.

We asked representatives of the two institutions what they think the explosive increase last year is due to.

– The House of Innovation at the Stockholm School of Economics started around 2018-2019. It is a major initiative that focuses on research in innovation, digitalization, AI and entrepreneurship. So the reason why so many people did their PhDs with us last year is that we are now starting to reap the benefits of the initiative,” says Magnus Mähring, Professor of Business Administration and Chair of the School of Business and Economics’ House of Innovation.

Maria Knutson Wedel, Rector of the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, is standing outside in front of a tree.
Maria Knutson Wedel. Photo: Jenny Svennås-Gillner.

– This is the result of both chance and deliberate economic investment in the field of business management. Regardless, it is very pleasing and reassuring to see that SLU can contribute to more knowledge about entrepreneurship in green industries. I believe it is a crucial factor in the transition to greater sustainability,” says Maria Knutson Wedel, Vice-Chancellor of the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences.

Women dominate research

Of the 54 doctoral theses awarded in 2023, 33 were completed by women and 21 by men. The year before, the gender distribution was even, while women accounted for twice as many doctoral theses in the field in 2021 .

More about the list

The list is based on the doctoral theses in the fields of innovation, entrepreneurship and small business identified by the ESBRIS editorial team in 2023. Esbri interviews the researchers and writes popular science articles that are usually published on a few days before the defense.

To previous lists



See the list of universities that have produced the most dissertations over time.

Stockholm School of Economics8 (0)
Lund University7 (7)
Swedish University of Agriculture7 (1)
Luleå University of Technology5 (2)
Jönköping University4 (2)
Stockholm University4 (6)
University of Gothenburg3 (1)
Linköping University3 (3)
Blekinge Institute of Technology2 (1)
Chalmers2 (2)
KTH2 (5)
Linnaeus University2 (1)
Dalarna University1 (0)
Halmstad University1 (1)
Södertörn University1 (0)
Uppsala University1 (2)
Örebro University1 (1)
TOTAL54 (37)