RIS Sustainable entrepreneurship – Center for Entrepreneurship Research – Ghent University

Information for participants

The title of the study: Sustainable Business Study

Department of Marketing, Innovation and Organization
University of Ghent

Name and contact information of the leading researcher:
Prof. dr. dr. Petra Andries

We invite you to participate in a research project. Before doing this, it is important that you understand why we are conducting this survey and what your participation entails. Take the time to review the following information and discuss it with others if you wish. Do not hesitate to contact us if anything is unclear or if you would like more information.

1. What is the purpose of the research?

The purpose of the Sustainable Entrepreneurship Study is to identify sustainable behavior among Flemish SMEs, in particular (1) sustainable behavior, (2) drivers and stumbling blocks encountered by companies, and (3) its potential impact. The research aims to make a first basic measurement available to the Flemish government with the aim of repeating the measurement in the future. This basic survey will make it possible to map the impact of the Flemish Government’s policy on sustainable entrepreneurship in the coming years.
Even if your company places little or no emphasis on sustainability, or if sustainability is not important in your industry, your response is of great importance. Only in this way can the government of Flanders form a correct picture of the entire economy of Flanders and tailor its policy to the specific needs of different types of companies.

2. Why were you invited to this survey?

For this research, we selected Flemish companies of different size classes, from different sectors of the economy. We have received your contact information from Crossroads Bank for Enterprises, from Belfirst, via internet research and via email.

3. Who organizes and funds this research?

This research is carried out by Ghent University and is funded by the Flemish Government.

4. Is participation mandatory?

Participation is not mandatory. Nevertheless, we hope that you will take part in our study, as your answers may have an important impact on government policy in Flanders. Even if your business does not engage in sustainable behavior, your response is of great importance. Only in this way can the Government of Flanders form a correct picture of sustainable behavior among all SMEs and tailor its policy to the specific needs of different types of companies.
You can cancel your participation at any time.

5. What does your participation involve?

You will be asked to complete an online questionnaire. This will take between 7 and 15 minutes of your time, depending on your answers. You will receive a personal link to login. This approach has the advantage that your answers will be recorded in the meantime. You can therefore at any time stop filling out the questionnaire and resume it later without losing your answers. You can also forward the link to colleagues so they can view the survey and supplement your answers if necessary.

6. Will your participation be treated confidentially?

Your privacy is very important to us. All information we collect about you in this project will be treated in the strictest confidence. This means that you will not be identified in any way in reports or publications. After all, we only publish aggregated results and do not pass on any personal data to the Flemish government.

If fellow researchers or students are involved in the research, they must sign a duty of confidentiality. This way, your privacy is guaranteed.
You can also contact us to access and correct your data.

7. What will happen to the information collected and the results of the survey?

The results of this study will, on the one hand, result in a report to the Flemish Government (EWI department) on sustainable behavior in Flemish companies. You can also indicate in the survey whether you want to receive the final report.
On the other hand, we will analyze the data and process them in scientific publications on sustainable business and related topics.
Both the report and the scientific publications will be displayed on the website of the Center for Entrepreneurship Research (CER) at Ghent University (https://www.ugent.be/eb/mio/cer/en). The information we collect about you is stored for 10 years after the appearance of the last scientific publication. Then the data will be destroyed.

8. Informed consent

By participating in our survey, you agree that the information we collect about you will be used for the purpose of the survey as described in this document.

9. Contact for further information or any complaints.

For more information or if you have any complaints, please contact us at

Thank you for reviewing this information and for considering participating in our survey.

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