PhD Conferral Mr. Kars M.A.G. Mennens, MSc.
Supervisors: prof.dr. G. Odekerken-Schröder, prof.dr. W. Letterie
Co-supervisor: dr. A. van Gils
Keywords: innovation, SMEs, subsidies, customer wishes, business strategy
“Enhancing SME innovation performance; Results from a multi-actor perspective”
Innovation is a challenge for many SME entrepreneurs, but it is extremely important for both the company's performance and the growth of the regional economy. This dissertation investigates from different perspectives what enables SMEs in the manufacturing industry to come up with successful innovations. This research shows that innovation subsidies are an effective means of ensuring that employees become more structurally involved in innovation. In addition, the ability to recognize and use relevant knowledge from the environment is essential for successfully innovating services. Finally, the thesis demonstrates which customer wishes, depending on the business strategy, SME entrepreneurs must take into account when they enter the market with innovations.