Shaker Zahra speaks at a podium

Shaker Zahra Receives Honorary PhD from University of Antwerp

Thursday, April 6, 2023

Shaker Zahra speaks at a podium
Professor Shaker Zahra presents a masterclass on his research during his honorary doctorate ceremony at the University of Antwerp. Photo courtesy: University of Antwerp

Carlson School of Management Professor Shaker Zahra, the Robert E. Buuck Chair of Entrepreneurship, received an honorary doctorate from the University of Antwerp in recognition of his illustrious career and world-leading entrepreneurship expertise.

This marks his sixth honorary doctorate, with previous recognitions from the Stockholm School of Economics, Jonkoping International Business School, Ghent University, University of Messina, and Universidad de Olavide de Seville. In 2014, he also won the prestigious Global Award For Entrepreneurship Research. 

As part of last week's ceremony in Belgium, Zahra presented highlights of his research in a masterclass, demonstrating how entrepreneurship contributes to economic, social, and technological progress. Zahra says he never imagined his work would have such a global reach, especially since the field of entrepreneurship was not taken seriously when he started in academia.

“A lot of people have contributed to the transformation of this field and it has become a global phenomenon in many ways,” Zahra reflected. “I've been lucky to have become part of that. I'm sure there is somebody coming behind me, who’s multiple waves faster and bigger, and that's even better because that's what keeps the field growing.”

University of Antwerp Professor Ine Paeleman nominated Zahra to pay tribute to his groundbreaking work in the field. She met Zahra as a PhD student and later worked with him as a visiting scholar at the Carlson School, which she called an experience of a lifetime.

“He is a person of great character, integrity, humor, and kindness,” shared Paeleman. “His selflessness, generosity, and unwavering commitment to making the world a better place have inspired countless others over the course of their careers, and he continues to be a role model for all of us.”

Zahra has been with the Carlson School since 2005. Since then, he has served in multiple roles including chair of the Strategic Management and Entrepreneurship department, co-director of the Carlson Ventures Enterprise, and the academic director of the Gary S. Holmes Center for Entrepreneurship. 

His research, which focuses on corporate and international entrepreneurship, has appeared in leading journals, including the Academy of Management, Strategic Management Journal, Organization Science, and more. Among his current research projects include how state policies impact innovation in European countries and what factors create unicorn companies.

For a full video of Zahra’s honorary doctorate ceremony, click here.

Shaker Zahra receives a medal on stage for his honorary doctorate to great applause
Professor Shaker Zahra (third from left) receives applause after receiving an honorary doctorate from the University of Antwerp. Photo courtesy: University of Antwerp