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PhD Program

PhD Dissertation Defense, Elena Lizunova, Strategy and Business Policy

Congratulations to Dr Elena Lizunova, Strategy and Business Policy specialization, who successfully defended her Doctoral dissertation at HEC Paris, on April 6, 2021.

Dissertation Topic: 
Three essays on entrepreneurship : New insights using large econometric evidence.

Denisa Mindruta, Associate Professor, HEC Paris

Jury members:   
Janet Bercovitz, Professor, University of Boulder Colorado 
Mitali Banerji, Assistant Professor, HEC Paris 
Ha Hoang, Professor, ESSEC Business School

Denisa Mindruta, Associate Professor, HEC Paris, Advisor


The core of my dissertation is devoted to examining entrepreneurial strategies and processes of small ventures in the context of France. While we have accumulated abundant knowledge concerning such concepts as entrepreneurial entry and venture performance, entrepreneurial processes are still a black box. I shed additional light on this intermediary entrepreneurial stage using French census data. In the first chapter, I look at how unemployment insurance enables experimentation which then has implications for venture outcomes. In the second chapter, I examine how two types of founder motivations sustain entrepreneurial effort in times of adversity. In the last chapter, I look at how women build their ventures in male-dominated industries. The overall objective of my dissertation is to contribute to a better understanding of how entrepreneurs go about exploiting opportunities and how this process shapes venture outcomes.