Liudmila NAZARKINA, PhD Candidate in Strategy and Management (Russia)

The research focus of Liudmila Nazarkina is growth strategies of entrepreneurial firms in the sustainable lifestyle industry (such as organic food, clothing and sustainable modes of transportation).

University of St. Gallen, Switzerland

Research focus: Growth Strategies of Sustainability Entrepreneurs

Sustainability entrepreneurs pursue a range of growth strategies, including organic and acquisitive growth, strategic alliances, franchising and equity sales to strategic investors. However, some of these strategies, such as equity sales, are often perceived as a sell-out of sustainability values by organisational stakeholders. Ms Nazarkina is investigating the inconsistency demonstrated by many entrepreneurs by choosing growth strategies that make business sense but are incompatible with stakeholder expectations for a business with a sustainability-driven identity. Her research aims to provide recommendations as to the most sustainable ways of growing an entrepreneurial firm in the sustainable lifestyle industry.

As a PhD Fellow supported by the oikos Foundation for Economy and Ecology (Switzerland), Ms Nazarkina is coordinating academic projects focused on teaching sustainability with cases. She manages the oikos Global Case Writing Competition and is the editor of the oikos Case Quarterly. She is actively involved in facilitating the development of high-quality teaching cases to bring sustainability teaching to classrooms, and has had articles published by peer-reviewed journals and papers accepted at international conferences in the field of management research.

The jury was impressed with Ms Nazarkina's research into ways that entrepreneurial companies in the sustainable lifestyle sector can grow without "selling out" on their principles, including franchising, licensing and growth through investment. It noted her commitment to helping these companies deal with the hurdles that come with growth.

Ms Nazarkina looks forward to the challenge of competing with other talented international young scholars and to connect with a broad network of specialists from industry and academia. "I want to learn from experts with knowledge of the latest developments in the field of sustainable lifestyles and entrepreneurship," she said.