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Personal profile


Personal Information

Name: Suna Løwe Nielsen

Email: sso@sam.sdu.dk

Phone: (0045) 65501468


Research profile

My research is mainly dedicated to the exploration of two major topics, design entrepreneurship and entrepreneurship during crisis.

Design and design thinking are unique and abductive innovative approaches to launching and developing entrepreneurial processes. Designers are known to reshape tumultuous and wicked problems into new value-creating opportunities. I study how design and design thinking facilitate the entrepreneur and intrapreneurial manager in decoding complex problems, solving problems, and making new strategies and opportunities emerge. The core of my research is how to address entrepreneurial problems in various contextual settings (startups, SMVs, teaching, sustainability, etc.) in the same ways designers work with problem-solving and innovation in the design process. I also address topics such as design-driven co-creation and co-creation management.

Major crisis, such as the coronavirus pandemic or the financial crisis 2007/2008 represent danger and opportunity. Armed with the hope of playing a role in helping entrepreneurs and small firms to get through or even capitalize on a crisis, I explore the role of entrepreneurship during crisis. I am interested in topics such as crisis strategies, crises preparedness, and how crisis creates entrepreneurial alertness and opportunities.  

Academic Degrees

2007: PhD in entrepreneurship, Aalborg University

2003: MSc in Economics and Business Administration, Aalborg University

2000: Bachelor of Science and Administration and Politics, Aalborg University


Professional Appointments

2011: Associate Professor, Department of Entrepreneurship and Relationship Management, University of Southern Denmark

2008: Assistant Professor, Department of Entrepreneurship and Relationship Management, University of Southern Denmark

2007: Research Professor, Department of Entrepreneurship and Relationship Management, University of Southern Denmark

2005: Visiting scholar, The Spiro Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership, Clemson University, USA

2004: PhD student, Department of International Business Economics, AAU

2003: Research assistant, Department of International Business Economics, AAU

2001: Trade assistant at the Royal Danish Embassy, Dublin, Ireland


Project Experience

2020-2022: Hvad kan SMV'er lære af Covid-19?

2019-2022: Entreprenante verdensmålstuderende

2019-2020: Underviser-Hackathon

2018-2021: Designing for Growth (DESIGN2INNOVATE), ReThink the Future

The DesUni project: Design Thinking for University Educators, www.desuni.dk, project owner

2005-2017: Student-centered Leadership, Nyborg municipality, Denmark, researcher and facilitator

2010-2015: DesignANDELEN, The Region of Southern Denmark, head of research

2014-2015: TransFormer Project, The Region of Southern Denmark, head of research

2010: User-driven Welfare Technology, researcher

2010: The Scandinavian House of Art in Rome, researcher

2010-2013: The Global Entrepreneurship Monitor Research Programme, researcher

2008: Læselystkampagnen, researcher

2003: Fra Bankfolk til Forretningsfolk, storkundeafdelingen, Spar Nord Bank, koordinator and researcher


Teaching Qualifications and Training

2013: Course for PhD supervisors, The University of Southern Denmark

2011: Teacher-Training Programme for Assistant Lecturers, University of Southern Denmark

2005: Basic Teaching Programme, Aalborg University


Knowledge Dissemination

Workshops: Regular organizer and facilitator of various design thinking workshops

Talks: Regular presentations for various stakeholders, e.g. entrepreneurs, SME’s, educators


Voluntary Work

1997: Providing full-range of nursing care for disabled student, Warwick University, England


Honours and Awards

2004: The Tuborg Fund’s Academic Award - 150.000 DKK


Publications (selected)

Klyver, K., Nielsen, S. L. and Thornton, P. (in review). Institutional logics as symbolic external enablers: Financial crisis and entrepreneurship. Organization Studies.

Nielsen, S. L., Christensen, P. R. and Storvang, P. (2021) Does Design Thinking Benefit Ambidextrous Dynamics between SME Managers’ Entrepreneurial and Administrative Mindsets? The Design Journal, 

Christensen, P. R. and Nielsen, S. L. (2019). The Beauty of Design Thinking: Is there a Small Beast in the Box. The Design Journal, 22. Suppl. 1, 147-161.

Nielsen, S. L., Norlyk, B. and Christensen, P. R. (2018). Salesman? Hell no! – Identity Struggles of Nascent Design Entrepreneurs, Creativity and Innovation Management, 27(3), 358-369.

Nielsen, S. L. and Gartner, W. B. (2017). Am I a student and/or entrepreneur? Multiple Identities in Student Entrepreneurship, Education + Training, 59(2), 135-154.

Nielsen, S. L. and Christensen, P. R. (2014). The Wicked Problem of Design Management: Perspectives from the Field of Entrepreneurship, The Design Journal, 17(4), 560-582.

Klyver, K., Nielsen, S. L. and Evald, M. R. (2013). Women's self-employment: An act of institutional (dis)integration? A multilevel, cross-country study, Journal of Business Venturing, 28(4), 474-488.

Research areas

Entrepreneurial processes 
Entrepreneurial identities and identity development 
Student entrepreneurship 
Design Entrepreneurship 
SME and succession 
Opportunities and crisis
Women Entrepreneurship 


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