Digitalisation has given rise to new business models. The Research group Financial-Economic Advice in Innovation focuses on such new digital revenue models. In addition, we are studying the changing role of accountants, controllers and financial advisers as a result of digital information services.

Lines of research within the research group

  • It is difficult for SME entrepreneurs to make digital investments. Many digital applications do not match their practice, their level of knowledge and are not plug and play.
  • In small businesses there is an increasing demand for business intelligence and algorithm development (business performance, risk assessment, fraud detection, cyber security).
  • The introduction of a digital euro. What are the pros and cons of business transactions?
  • The research group focuses on (financial) business services and healthcare entrepreneurs.

HU Ambition: Together Digital: Improving digital inclusion and competitiveness of SMEs.
Objective: Better availability and use of digital applications for SMEs in collaboration with trade and professional associations, lab.

  • The Netherlands is one of the top countries with the most obstacles to attracting (venture) capital. This blocks digital innovation and a sustainable transition.
  • This is due to the lack of a credit and collateral register, tax facilities, an accessible guarantee system and the jungle of (complicated) subsidies.
  • In addition, 50% of entrepreneurs are financially illiterate and the financial intermediary lacks the knowledge to find suitable capital for their transition.

HU Ambition: Sustainable Together, Learning Together: Stimulating a meaningful economy.
Objective: To remove barriers for SME financing in sustainability transitions. With an existing large network in the finance, fintech sector.

  • There is a huge data shortage in and about small businesses. At the request of (branch) organisations, the research group has designed the Small Business Index (KBI). Healthcare entrepreneurs join, 3 PhD students are doing (cohort) research.
  • The research group has been asked by the municipality of Utrecht to help shape the Utrecht Entrepreneur Central programme. It supports tens of thousands of small entrepreneurs in transition.
  • At the request of the Ministry of Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality, the Province of Utrecht and the EU, we conduct (intervention) research.
  • Entrepreneurial Well Being is an academic hot topic. In 2023, the research group will become an international project partner.

HU Ambition: Healthy Together, Learning Together: Increase physical and mental resilience and combatting lagging innovation.
Objective: Design and testing of support programmes and support for further upscaling.

  • Entrepreneurs regularly make decisions based on habits that affect the continuity of their company.
  • Their financial advisors also have many blind spots. They allow themselves to be guided by ingrained behaviour and do not arrive at optimal solutions.
  • 50% of entrepreneurs, but also many students, are financially illiterate. They lack many basic skills to make a good financial decision.
  • Financial stress among entrepreneurs and students leads to mental and health problems, unnecessary study drop-outs and/or bad financial decisions.

HU Ambition: Learning Together, Healthy Together: Improving financial choices and increasing mental resilience in the event of financial stress (entrepreneurs and students).
Objective: Discover mechanisms, design/test interventions and new forms of education.



The topic of good SME management is dealt with during various courses and the graduation component. Research into good SME management is relatively new. Our students are challenged to come up with their own suggestions and improvements to the Diamond model. We no longer work under the assumption that the lecturer knows everything. Rather, the task is to search for solutions together. And this yields surprising results.

Students conferring

“You either invest directly in good SME management and grow as a result, or you wait until you have grown before you implement good SME management. Over the past 25 years, Écart has chosen the first option, which it also applies to its stakeholders. This is the basis of our success.”

Leo Zijerveld Founder of the private equity firm Écart


ONL for entrepreneurs, INRetail, Stichting MKB Finance, Qredits, Culture & Entrepreneurship, Kamer van Koophandel, Province of Utrecht, Municipality of Utrecht, Erasmus University, University of Leiden, University of Antwerpen, Centre for the Family company, HvA, NLPO, DARE, European Centre for Alternative Finance, Transeo, European Council of Small Business.

Our professors and researchers

Lex van Teeffelen

Lex van Teeffelen

Professor Financial-Economic Advice in Innovation Show profile
Frans Boumans | Researcher | Financial-Economic Advice in Innovation

Frans Boumans

Researcher Financial-Economic Advice in Innovation Show profile
Wil van Erp | Researcher | Financial-Economic Advice in Innovation

Wil van Erp

Researcher Financial-Economic Advice in Innovation Show profile
Hennie Huijgens

Hennie Huijgens

Teacher-researcher Financial-Economic Advice in Innovation Show profile

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