Meet the Team: JuanFra Alvarado Valenzuela

26 Jan 2024 14:58 | 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 JuanFra Alvarado Valenzuela!

JuanFra Alvarado Valenzuela is focused on the exciting field of economic sociology. His path began with studies in economic sociology, followed by a PhD track at the University of Amsterdam (UvA) together with the University of Milan (UNIMI). At the end of his doctoral research, which dealt with entrepreneurship from a sociological perspective, an opportunity to join Ingrid's team came up. 

Entrepreneurship in bad times

JuanFra brought not only his expertise in research, but also the resilience to deal with setbacks. Project Fenix had been established where more than 1,400 students learned from entrepreneurs about dealing with bad times. This project put failure and restarts in entrepreneurship on the map by making it discussable and visible that setbacks are part of the process of entrepreneurship. And this led to his current focus on studying new business models and agility. 

Entrepreneurship and Inclusiveness

What inspired JuanFra to pursue a career in entrepreneurship research was his involvement in research on minority labour market integration. His research focus was on the labour market integration of migrant entrepreneurs, which proved to be a good match for his background in economic sociology. He saw entrepreneurship as an effective way to promote such integration. He is also completing the WeRIn project on women in entrepreneurship. JuanFra highlights the need to improve the position of women (and other minorities) in entrepreneurship and give visibility to women entrepreneurs through workshops and other initiatives developed. 

Challenges and goals in his research

In his research, JuanFra sees some challenges, such as defining the frameworks of a project. This requires a lot of effort, where conversations with practitioners are crucial. He stresses the importance of learning from other experiences and adding value to existing business models. One of the key findings in his recent research is looking at regenerative initiatives and understanding their growth into a business model.

With his research, JuanFra hopes to map the agility of regenerative business models and contribute to sustainability and visibility of minorities in entrepreneurship. As part of his post, he stresses the importance of fine-tuning project education materials to make them fit well. He strives to share knowledge and learn from each other's experiences to promote the growth of (future) businesses.   

Openness and learning together

Besides his work in the Research Group Entrepreneurship, JuanFra enjoys the aspect of learning together and sparring with colleagues. He appreciates the openness and critical eye that the professorship offers, and stresses the importance of sharing tips and experiences among colleagues. Outside his research work, he enjoys travelling, swimming, and boxing.