William Paterson University management professor Ana Siqueira, PhD – founding director of the Center for Socially Responsible Entrepreneurship and Innovation (CSREI) within the University’s Cotsakos College of Business – has earned a 2024 Excellence in Scholarship Award from the United States Association for Small Business and Entrepreneurship (USASBE).
Bestowed by USASBE’s Social Entrepreneurship Special Interest Group, the award recognizes research completed in the field of social entrepreneurship.
“As a first-generation Latina immigrant, I am passionate about supporting diversity of perspectives in entrepreneurship and researching under-represented entrepreneurial populations,” Siqueira says.
As founding director of William Paterson University’s CSREI, Siqueira leads initiatives with professors and business leaders who use research, teaching, and educational outreach to help diverse individuals from around the world formulate innovative business ideas and design socially responsible, sustainable enterprises.
In 2023, Siqueira and her collaborators published two noteworthy research articles on social entrepreneurship.
The first, “Creation of economic, social, and environmental change through entrepreneurship: An entrepreneurial autonomy perspective informed by Paulo Freire,” was published in the Journal of Business Venturing Insights. The article reveals empirical findings via uncommon methods on Brazilian women tech entrepreneurs who transcend gender inequality and contribute to sustainability. The authors also apply to entrepreneurship a theory by educator and philosopher Paulo Freire that is highly cited in other disciplines, but rarely entrepreneurship—until now.
Siqueira and her collaborators present a practical application of their unique perspective through an entrepreneurial autonomy worksheet they developed “to teach and train entrepreneurs to improve their economic conditions and contribute to their communities in an environmentally sustainable manner,” Siqueira explains.
The second article Siqueira published in 2023, “The consequences of financial leverage: Certified B Corporations’ advantages compared to common commercial firms,” appeared in the Journal of Business Ethics. Therein, Siqueira and her collaborators show that Certified B Corporations – those that meet high standards of verified performance, accountability, and transparency on factors from employee benefits to supply chain practices and charitable giving – experience less adverse effects from having more debt than equity, such as lower sales growth and increasing employment costs, than common commercial firms. “Our findings further show that stakeholders support the B Corp certification,” Siqueira says. “This is important information for entrepreneurs interested in pursuing a B Corp certification or starting up as B Corp.”
“It is my hope that through communicating my research findings to broader audiences, I will empower future generations of scholars and practitioners from diverse backgrounds,” she adds.
Siqueira serves as an editorial board member for the journal Entrepreneurship Theory & Practice and is an incoming associate editor for the Journal of Business Venturing Insights. She holds a PhD in management from the University of Cambridge.
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