Monday, October 24, 2016

Urban Planning Assistant Professor Haifeng Qian, co-organizer of the International Workshop on Entrepreneurship in China, presented his research at Peking University in Beijing on October 14-15. Entrepreneurial activity has recently begun receiving support from the Chinese government as a way to create sustained growth of the country’s economy. Scholars from Canada, China, Denmark, Germany, Italy, the United Kingdom and the United States presented 30 papers at the workshop. Topics covered all areas of entrepreneurship including startups, small and medium-sized enterprises, high growth firms, and self-employment.

Qian’s research, “Sectoral Variations in Startup Activity” looks at the causes of more start-ups in some industries but not others. Knowledge, according to the knowledge spillover theory of entrepreneurship, represents entrepreneurial opportunities. However, not all types of knowledge encourage entrepreneurship. His research shows that higher levels of knowledge in economics and accounting, design, fine arts and geography are associated with more vibrant startup activity.

The workshop was organized by the College of Urban and Environmental Sciences, Peking University; Guanghua School of Management, Peking University; School of Urban and Regional Planning, The University of Iowa; and Small Business Economics: An Entrepreneurship Journal. It was sponsored by the National Natural Science Foundation of China.

Besides the workshop, Qian was also actively involved in other academic activity in Asia. In September, he delivered a plenary speech at the Japanese Academy of Small Business Studies in Tokyo. In the speech, he introduced the Iowa City entrepreneurial ecosystem, especially the roles played by the University of Iowa. During the two trips to Asia, Qian also gave research talks at Hitotsubashi University in Tokyo and South China University of Technology in Guangzhou, China.