Dr Saskia De Klerk - University of the Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia

Accessibility links

Dr Saskia De Klerk

Dr Saskia De Klerk

PhD Potchef., MCom Potchef., BCom(Hons) Potchef., BComm Potchef.

  • Senior Lecturer in International Business
07 5459 4493
Office location
Sunshine Coast
Saskia De Klerk


Dr Saskia de Klerk teaches entrepreneurship, managing across cultures, international business, and new venture planning at USC at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels. She believes in reflection, empowerment and authentic learning environments.

Saskia is the Research Degree Committee member elected for the Central region and she is also the Higher Degree Coordinator in the School of Business and Creative Industries. She worked as the Program Coordinator for the International Business Program until recently.

Previously Saskia worked at UNSW Canberra teaching International Business, Business Planning and Change Management at ADFA from 2011-2017. She also worked as Higher Degree Coordinator and actively engaged with the Canberra Innovation Incubator and Lighthouse Innovation Centre on research and development of entrepreneurship, innovation, networking and soft skills in the STEAMED (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, Mathematics, Entrepreneurship and Design) areas.

Her research interests in Incubators lead to her involvement in the Government sponsored project: The role and performance of accelerators in the Australian startup ecosystem. Her keen interest in creativity and innovation lead to her research with the Street Theatre in the ACT and international collaboration with TREES (Tourism Research in Economics, Environs and Society) at North-West University in South Africa. These projects focus on Entrepreneurship development, Innovation, Networking and the Entrepreneurial Ecosystem.

She is a co-investigator on the Sunshine Coast Regional Innovation Project Team (SCRIPT) focusing on growing regional entrepreneurial ecosystems. She is also the lead-investigator on a Veteran entrepreneurship grant that focusses on the Entrepreneurial journey of military veterans transitioning into self-employment. She continues her research on innovation and entrepreneurial capacity building through smaller projects with diverse multidisciplinary teams ranging from Science, Engineering, Creative Industries and Education. Some of these projects include, Seniorpreneurs, Immigrant entrepreneurs, Regional ecosystem mapping in Australia (USC, UTS, University of Adelaide and CSU), Youth entrepreneurship, networks, and bricolage. She is also supervising a number of PhD students from Australia, Sri Lanka, Zimbabwe, Zambia, South Africa and Salzburg.

You can also visit Saskia at:


  • Certificate for outstanding service as journal paper reviewer. Conferred in 2019 by Kudos.
  • Best paper in 2017 Award at USC in the category Arts, Business, Humanities and Law. Awarded on the 22nd of November 2018 at the Research Celebration Awards.
  • Honourary Senior Researcher at North-West University – TREES (Tourism Research in Economics, Environment and Society) Research program from 2012-2020.
  • Wilfred Laurier grant (2011).
  • Young upcoming and promising researcher by the Institutional office (NWU) in 2009.

Professional memberships

  • AOM


  • Accidental Counsellor certified from 2018 – 2020. Awarded by Lifeline Australia.

  • FULT 2015 Foundations of Learning and Teaching Certificate, UNSW, Australia.

  • QSR International NVIVO, Certificate, Further Analysis in NVivo, Australia Oct 2012.

  • Fundamentals of Statistics. Certificate awarded by the Australian Consortium for Social and Political Research. ACSPRI Winter Program 4-8 July 2011, University of Queensland, St. Lucia.

  • Polnet certificate. Ninth Summer School on the Analysis of Political and Managerial Networks, Tilburg University, Aug-Sep 2009.

Potential research projects for HDR and honours students

  • Entrepreneurship development

  • Networking and stakeholder management

  • Innovative ecosystem development

  • Career transitioning

  • Entrepreneurial capacity building

  • Cross-cultural management

Research grants

Project name 


Funding body 



The ecosystem that supports Military Veteran entrepreneurs.

Dr Saskia de Klerk (Lead), Dr Margarietha Scheepers, Prof Karen Becker, and Dr Matthew McCormack (External - UNSW Canberra).

USC Business School 2019 Research Potential Fund (RPF)


Career-transitioning by military veterans into self-employment

Sunshine Coast Region: Regional Innovation Benchmark Research

Retha de Villiers (Lead), Saskia de Klerk; Peter Jenner, Lisa Daniel, Toni Binstead, Sunshine Coast Council.

Sunshine Coast Council and Advance QLD


Technical reports
de Villiers Scheepers, M. J., & de Klerk, S. (2019). Sunshine Coast Region: Regional Innovation Benchmark Research Report 2019.

The role and performance of accelerators in the Australian startup ecosystem

Martin J. Bliemel (Lead), Ricardo Flores, Saskia de Klerk, Morgan Miles, Bianca Costas, Pedro Monteiro.

Australian Government, Department of Industry, Innovation and Science (DIIS)


Technical Reports: Martin J. Bliemel, Ricardo Flores, Saskia de Klerk, Morgan Miles, Bianca Costas, Pedro Monteiro: The role and performance of accelerators in the Australian startup ecosystem. Report number: ACCEL01, Affiliation: UNSW Australia.

Immigrant entrepreneurship in ACT and NSW – critical skills development in innovation, business planning and stakeholder management

Saskia de Klerk (Lead), Nelia Hyndman-Rizk and Marina Zhang

Immigrant Entrepreneurship & Critical Skills development. Collaboration Research Grant UNSW Canberra (School of Business)


Publications and Conference papers on Immigrant entrepreneurship in ACT and NSW – critical skills development in innovation, business planning and stakeholder management.

Development of critical capabilities for stakeholder innovation, social capital and relationship management

Rector’s start-up grant. UNSW Canberra

Saskia de Klerk (Lead), The Street Theatre, Sue Hodge, Caroline Stacey


Rector’s start-up grant. Report

Networking development and utilisation: women career development, diversity management and opportunities

National Research Foundation South Africa

Thuthuka Grant-holder


NRF Grants

Network practices amongst Gauteng businesses

National Research Foundation South Africa

Thuthuka Grant-holder


PhD thesis

Research areas

  • Networking
  • Entrepreneurial ecosystems
  • Innovation
  • Entrepreneurial capacity building
  • Cross-cultural management

Teaching areas

  • Managing Across Cultures
  • New Venture Development
  • Entrepreneurship
  • International Business

Program coordinator

Research publications

  • Maritz, A., Jones, C., Foley, D., de Klerk, S., Eager, B, and Nguyen, Q. (forthcoming 2020). editors Charles H. Matthews and Eric W. Liguori, Chapter 9. Entrepreneurship Education in Australia. Vol. 4 of USASBE's Annals of Entrepreneurship Education and Pedagogy. Sage Publications.
  • Maritz, A., De Klerk, S. and Eager, B. (Forthcoming in 2020). Senior entrepreneurs as untapped potential. In Minority Entrepreneurs. Edgar Elgar.
  • Bliemel, M., Flores, R., De Klerk, S., & Miles, M. P. (2019). Accelerators as start-up infrastructure for entrepreneurial clusters. Entrepreneurship & Regional Development, 31(1-2), 133-149.
  • de Villiers Scheepers, M. J., & de Klerk, S. (2019). Sunshine Coast Region: Regional Innovation Benchmark Research Report 2019.
  • Hyndman-Rizk, N., & De Klerk, S. (2019). Culture as Opportunity: Skilled Migration and Entrepreneurship in Australia. In Sustainable Entrepreneurship (pp. 25-45). Springer, Cham.
  • Bliemel, M., De Klerk, S., Flores, R., & Miles, M. P. (2018). Emergence of accelerators and accelerator policy: the case of Australia. In Accelerators. Edward Elgar Publishing.
  • Miles, M.P., de Vries, H. Harrison, G., Bliemel, M., de Klerk, S., Kasouf, C.J. (2017). Accelerators as authentic training experiences for nascent entrepreneurs, Education + Training, 59(7/8): 811-824.
  • Klerk, S., and Verreynne, M. L. (2017). The networking practices of women managers in an emerging economy setting: negotiating institutional and social barriers. Human Resource Management Journal, 27(3): 477-501.
  • De Klerk S. (2015). The creative industries: an entrepreneurial bricolage perspective. Management Decision, 53(4): 828-842.
  • De Klerk S, and Ranasinghe G. (2015). Exploring the Youth Entrepreneurial Risk Behavior from a Cognitive Perspective. Sri Lankan Journal of Management, 20(3-4): 70-93
  • De Klerk S and Saayman M. (2014). Managing network motivations of [Ev]Entrepreneurs. African Journal of Hospitality, Tourism and Leisure, 3(2): 1-22. http//: www.ajhtl.com
  • Bean K., De Klerk, S., and Kroon J. (2013). Conveying the Message: Building Relationships in a Varied Team. Journal of Business and Management, 2(1): 11-25
  • De Klerk, S. and Saayman, M. (2012). Networking as key factor in Artrepreneurial success. European Business Review, 24(5): 382-399.

Dr Saskia de Klerk's specialist areas of knowledge include entrepreneurship and business management, innovation, networking and social capital.

More USC experts...

In the news

Military veteran research participants David Neal and Jonathan Clark in 2017
Veterans offer 'untapped resource' for economy, research shows
21 Apr

New business research led by the University of the Sunshine Coast has investigated how military veterans transition to self-employment, recommending it as a career option for other veterans.

Noosa Arts Theatre presents Mammamia. Picture supplied
Regional theatres keep curtains open despite COVID
25 Nov 2021

From driveway performances and reduced-capacity shows to hibernation – even turning off the back office fridge to save money, theatre groups of the Noosa, Sunshine Coast and Moreton Bay regions managed to survive COVID-19 lockdowns without folding for good.