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Awarded for findings about the importance of networks

14 May 2018

On Monday, Olav Sorenson, Professor at Yale School of Management, received the Global Award for Entrepreneurship Research 2018. The prize was presented by Helene Hellmark Knutsson, Minister for Higher Education and Research. Sorenson was awarded the prize for increasing the understanding of the notion that entrepreneurial activity and innovation are strongly embedded in socially and spatially bounded relationships. Global Award is the world-leading prize in entrepreneurship research with a prize of 100,000 euros.

From left, Helene Hellmark Knutsson, Minister for Higher Education and Research, Olav Sorenson winner of Global Award 2018, Karin S Thorburn, Norwegian School of Economics, Johan Eklund, Swedish Entrepreneurship Forum and Magnus Henrekson, IFN.


Olav Sorensen's prize lecture was titled "Social Networks and the Geography".

Olav Sorensen's research underscores the importance of social networks. Money, ideas, information, influences and knowledge are not freely available to all individuals and organizations, but communicated via social networks. Networking that is often connected locally. This means that successful entrepreneurship regularly occurs in geographical clusters and within the framework of social networking between entrepreneurs, venture capitalists and other players.

Olav Sorensen's research can be divided into three areas: 1) the geography of entrepreneurship, 2) social capital and entrepreneurship, and 3) the evolution of learning and innovation. The price committee believes that his contribution has:

  • Pioneered the concept of home field advantage in explaining localization patterns of new and young firms.
  • Paved new ways to assess and measure the problem of endogeneity in building social capital. He has designed experiments and statistical methods that deal with the endogeneity issue, emphasizing how networks evolve, as well as their origin.
  • Advanced our understanding of organizational learning, scientific discovery, and technological innovation by building on the importance of interdependence among actors in the innovation process.

The award ceremony also included a panel discussion with (from the left) Karin S Thorburn, Professor Norwegian School of Economics, Magnus Henrekson, Professor IFN, Helene Hellmark Knutsson, Minister for Higher Education and Research, Olav Sorenson, Professor Yale School of Management, and Johan Eklund , Professor Swedish Entrepreneurship Forum.

The Global Award for Entrepreneurship Research was awarded at a prize ceremony at the Grand Hôtel in Stockholm. For more information, visit the price website,

Prize winner Olav Sorenson, at the reception following the award ceremony, together with Helene Hellmark Knutsson, Minister for Higher Education and Research.