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

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Staff profile

Dr Saskia De Klerk

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

  • Senior Lecturer in International Business
  • USC Business School HDR Coordinator
07 5459 4493
Office location
Sunshine Coast
Dr Saskia De Klerk

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

Saskia worked at UNSW Canberra teaching International Business, Business Planning and Change Management at ADFA from 2011-2017. During this time, she also worked as Higher Degree Coordinator to oversee recruitment, scholarship applications, confirmation and annual progress reviews and overall wellbeing of the PhD and MPhil students in the School of Business. She actively engaged with the Canberra Innovation Incubator and Lighthouse Innovation Centre on entrepreneurship and innovation development in the entrepreneurial ecosystem. 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 in the Creative industries and Tourism and its impact on regional development and career advancement of the local community.

More recently she has been involved in research on entrepreneurial skills development and creativity with Lighthouse Innovation Centre. She has been observing the teaching models and skills development in authentic learning environments. The focus of these workshops is on the development of soft skills and is STEAMED (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, Mathematics, Entrepreneurship and Design) focused.

Saskia’s research focusses on Innovation and Entrepreneurial development within specific contexts as Ecosystems.

You can also visit Saskia at:


  • Extraordinary Senior Researcher at North-West University – TREES (Tourism Research in Economics, Environment and Society) Research program
  • Wilfred Laurier grant for travel expenses to attend the NEXT conference on Tourism Entrepreneurship. (2011).
  • Merit grant for Young upcoming and promising researcher by the Institutional office (NWU) for the amount of R50 000.00 in 2009.
  • SAIMS 25th Annual conference 2013: Session 1: Entrepreneurial Resilience on the 17 September 2013 8am – 10am in Room: G41 European Union funding in 2005 to attend conference and workshop at Stockholm University College – Sodertorns Hogskola University College (5-8 Sept 2005).

Professional memberships

  • AOM

Research publications

  • 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.

Potential research projects for HDR and honours students

  • Entrepreneurship development
  • Networking and stakeholder management
  • Innovative ecosystem development
  • Women career advancement
  • Creativity and Innovation Management

Research grants

Project name  Investigators  Funding body  Year(s)  Focus 
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) 2015-2017 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) 2014-2016 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 2012 Rector’s start-up grant. Report

Entrepreneurial Intensity: The influence of antecedents to Corporate Entrepreneurship in firms
National Research Foundation South Africa Thuthuka Grant-holder 2005-2007 PhD thesis

Research areas

  • International Business
  • Innovation
  • Entrepreneurship

Teaching areas

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

Program coordinator

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

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Entrepreneurship student Carin Erikson at EIA in Portugal. Photographer: Ciano Vetromille
High-tech motivation for Business student
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