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Academy of Finland corona-related funding to Assistant Professor Ewald Kibler’s research group

The group will study the effects of the COVID-19 crisis on entrepreneurs who are over 50 years old and for whom the crisis thus poses several risks.
The photo shows the School of Business main staircase. The photo was taken by Unto Rautio.
The main staircase of the School of Business. Photo: Unto Rautio.

The Academy of Finland has granted special corona-related funding for Assistant Professor of Entrepreneurship Ewald Kibler’s research project Entrepreneurship and Population Ageing.

Kibler and his research group will study older (50+ years) entrepreneurs for whom the COVID-19 crisis is more severe due to higher health risks, immediate impact on pensions and shorter lifespans for reviving the business after the crisis.

'The research project will demonstrate, within and across different regional contexts in Finland, Germany, Italy, and the UK,  how late-career (vs. early-career) entrepreneurs running small and medium-sized businesses – which are hit hardest during the COVID-19 crisis – cope with and manage the situation during the progression of an existential threat', Ewald Kibler explains.

The photo shows Assistant Professor Ewald Kibler and it was taken by Roope Kiviranta from Aalto University.
Assistant Professor Ewald Kibler. Photo: Roope Kiviranta / Aalto University.

'The project will also show how the activities of older entrepreneurs support the short- and long-term socio-economic recovery at the organizational, regional and national level. The project will thus offer the first research insights on late-career entrepreneurship in crisis contexts by advancing knowledge of ‘older’ entrepreneurs’ resilience strategies in Finland and in comparison to other aging societies affected by the COVID-19 crisis.'

The research project will immediately assist businesses and policy makers to reduce entrepreneurs’ socio-economic damage of the COVID-19 crisis and strengthen future entrepreneurial capabilities in reacting to such extreme situations.

'With our research project we aim to provide evidence-based policy recommendations on how to effectively support early and later-career entrepreneurs materially and mentally. We also want to provide managerial recommendations on how entrepreneurs can manage threat-induced anxiety and successfully revive from national and global crises', Kibler says.

'Moreover, our research project can provide new theoretical insights on resilient entrepreneurship in aging societies. Our aim is to offer hands-on information, and we plan to swiftly share all findings with relevant stakeholders, such as policy-makers, relevant support institutions, and the media.'

Earlier research by Ewald Kibler’s research group has already played a leading role in the development of understanding the antecedents, challenges and outcomes of late-career entrepreneurship.

For instance, a study by Ewald Kibler, Teemu Kautonen and colleagues have identified practices that help late-career entrepreneurs manage age-discrimination. In a more recent study, they demonstrate that for late-career individuals, starting a business is positively associated with change in quality of life. That is, transitioning to entrepreneurship has been shown to increase the quality of life of older entrepreneurs significantly more compared with staying in the same job or switching to another paid job. Yet switching to entrepreneurship has, on average, meant a significant reduction in income.

 

More information:

Assistant Professor, Academy of Finland Fellow Ewald Kibler
Aalto University School of Business
Department of Management Studies
+358 40 353 8442
[email protected]

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The projects study the coronavirus, the pandemic and its effects on society. The total amount granted to the four Aalto projects is 730 000 euros.

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