Award winners-2019

2019 Emerging Scholars Award Winners

Emerging Scholar Awards sponsored by Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation

This award is new and supports our emerging scholars whose record of research demonstrates the potential to make innovative and impactful contributions to the body of entrepreneurship research. There were 10 nominations. The research committee selected the three winners. There were 5 reviewers for each nomination.

The winners for the 2019 Awards are:


Sophie Bacq (Northeastern University)

Sophie Bacq (PhD, Université catholique de Louvain, 2012) is an Associate Professor of Management and Entrepreneurship at the Kelley School of Business, Indiana University. A leading scholar in social entrepreneurship, Sophie investigates and theorizes about entrepreneurial action aiming to solve intractable social and environmental problems, at the individual, organizational and civic levels of analysis. In particular, she examines 1) the drivers of social entrepreneurial intention, 2) the governance of social enterprises as organizations subject to competing demands and multiple principal stakeholders, and 3) the civic wealth creation that results from collective action involving enterprises, communities, and regimes of support. Sophiehas taught and conducted empirical research on social entrepreneurship in Europe, the United States and South Africa. She is the co-director (along with Jill Kickul) of The Annual Social Entrepreneurship Conference.

Trent Williams (Indiana University) 

Trenton Alma Williams is an Assistant Professor of Management and Entrepreneurship and the Oslan Family Faculty Fellow in Entrepreneurship & Innovation at the Kelley School of Business, Indiana University. His research seeks to better explain the processes by which entrepreneurial actors pursue opportunities without regard to resources they currently control. To address this general question, his research focuses on three primary streams: 1) Processes of organizing and venture emergence—alternative forms of value creation (compassion organizing, crisis-induced organizing), mission drift, organizational persistence, and pivoting; 2) Organizational resourcing—resourcefulness and resilience under resource constraints, including the concept of “spontaneous venturing"; and 3) Identity transformation and responses to failure / loss. In exploring these domains, Trent seeks to understand how entrepreneurs resolve tensions in emergence processes and if/how individuals bounce-back following extreme setbacks. His research is at the intersection of scholarship in entrepreneurship, organization theory, and strategic management. 


Eric Zhao (Indiana University) 

Eric Zhao is an Associate Professor of Management and Entrepreneurship and the Institute for Entrepreneurship & Competitive Enterprise Faculty Fellow at the Kelley School of Business, Indiana University. Eric’s research draws on contemporary theory in strategy, organization theory, and entrepreneurship to study social and technological ventures that aim to address important societal problems (e.g., poverty, gender inequality, and technological innovation). In particular, he examines how these ventures experience and resolve core strategic tensions and achieve optimal distinctiveness as they confront these difficult challenges, competing demands from multiple stakeholders, and important trade offs (e.g., financial sustainability vs. social responsibility; differentiating to gain uniqueness vs. conforming to gain legitimacy).