Meet the Team: Linda Drupsteen-Sint

21 Dec 2023 14:45 | Entrepreneurship

Who are the researchers from the Entrepreneurship Professorship and what do they do? In this series we would like to introduce one of the researchers from the Research Group Entrepreneurship to you. This time Linda Drupsteen-Sint!

Intersection of psychology and business administration

Linda has a background in Psychology and did research into occupational safety at TNO (Netherlands Organisation for Applied Scientific Research) for 10 years. She is interested in subjects at the intersection of psychology and business administration, in other words people and organization. She joined the HvA through her previous research at Windesheim Flevoland on setting up social and impact enterprises.

Pippi Longstocking attitude

What she likes about working at the Research Group Entrepreneurship is that her colleagues are entrepreneurial kind of people who think in terms of opportunities. In her colleagues she recognizes the Pippi Longstocking attitude: "I've never done it before, so I think it can be done". Linda noticed this mindset even when she was newly hired. Despite her limited experience in the subject of entrepreneurship, it was not viewed as a constraint; rather it was seen as an opportunity. As a result, she brought other relevant expertise to the Research Group, such as her knowledge of structuring organizations.

Regenerative business

Linda is involved in various projects at the AUAS. She is engaged in the Business Administration program and is currently working on a project about shortening the food chain. Moreover, she is topic leader of the theme 'Regenerative Business'. In this research project, Linda researches companies that aim not only to prevent damage to nature and biodiversity, but also undo previous harm through their business model. This is where the word 'regenerative business' comes from, indicating these businesses are not only sustainable and circular, but also regenerative, or in other words: repairing the environment. An example of such a business is Wilder Land, which plants local and domestic plants to enhance biodiversity. From these plants, they create products such as tea and kombucha, fostering nature restoration. The concept of "regenerative business" is still an unexplored area.

Joining Wilder Land for a day

Researching pioneering efforts comes with challenges. "Chaos is a big challenge when doing research anyways. Especially when researching entrepreneurs who are pioneering, who lack time and space to participate fully. This is asking quite a lot from such an entrepreneur. Creative solutions are essential in such cases. At Wilder Land we joined in for a day, helping in the entrepreneurs out with tasks and asking questions and doing research at the same time."

Growth in terms of impact instead of money

Linda sees a number of challenges and interesting trends in her research. To begin with, a major challenge is that a new way of upscaling needs to be developed. Regenerative business is not about growth of business, expressed in terms of money, but growth in terms of impact. That is still very complicated.

One positive development she sees in the field of entrepreneurship is that more and more financial and legal structures are being built to enable impact entrepreneurship. "You didn't see this before. An example is 'Steward owned businesses.' These are enterprises in which shareholders have no authority over the company and accept lower profits, prioritizing the preservation of the company's mission over maximizing profits. Hereby it is ensured financial interests do not overshadow the core purpose of the company. 'Mission lock' is also an idea that is being developed. This means that organizations, through their design and structure, embed the mission of the company. You see this at Tony Chocolonely', for example. These are really new developments."

Linda is excited that there are entrepreneurs who are starting these developments; people who simply just start doing these new forms of business! She thinks it is most important that the stories of these pioneers are shared, spreading the idea of impact entrepreneurship further. This is how she makes impact with her research.

Coffee and out and about

If you run into Linda at AUAS, it's probably on her way to coffee! Linda is a coffee fanatic, or rather; a cappuccino fanatic. She drinks coffee not for its caffeine, but for its foam. In her free time she mostly enjoys doing fun activities. She loves biking, going out to for dinner and camping with the van. She has driven to Verona and Prague, but a spontaneous weekend in Limburg also makes her very happy.