Listen to Dr. Renko discuss challenges facing social entrepreneurs!

Listen to Dr. Renko discuss the MBA Social Entrepreneurship Program!

Professor Maija Renko

   Maija Renko

        Associate Professor of Entrepreneurship
        Phone: (312) 413-8237                  
        Office: 2211 University Hall
        View CV
        Hear what Professor Renko has to say about Social Entrepreneurship at UIC!

Education & Experience

  • PhD in Business Administration, Florida International University, 2008
  • D.Sc. in Business Administration, Turku School of Economics, Finland, 2006
  • M.Sc. in Economics & Business Administration, Turku School of Economics, Finland, 2000

Academic Positions

  • Assistant Professor of Entrepreneurship, College of Business Administration, University of Illinois at Chicago, 2007-Present
  • Visiting Assistant Professor of Entrepreneurship, College of Business Administration, Florida International University, 2006-2007
  • Visiting Scholar, Stanford University, Scandinavian Consortium for Organizational Studies, 2004
  • Researcher, Turku School of Economics, Innomarket Unit, Finland, 1999-2002

Areas of Expertise

  • Entrepreneurship
  • Small Business Management
  • Social Entrepreneurship
  • Technology Entrepreneurship
  • Business Planning


Teaching Interests
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Social Entrepreneurship
  • Business Planning

Research Interests

Entrepreneurship with a focus on the early stages of business development and understanding what factors contribute to successful business start-ups; the role of entrepreneurship in bringing about social change.


  • Recipient of Favorite MBA Professor Award, 2013
  • Member of the Journal of Business Venturing review board, invited in February 2013.
  • Senior Fellow of the Pino Entrepreneurship Center, Florida International University. Invited in February 2012 - ongoing
  • Principal Investigator on a $40,000 grant awarded from UIC Chancellor's Discovery Fund for Multidisciplinary Pilot Research for proposal "Participation through Innovation: Social entrepreneurship as a pathway to employment for people with disabilities". (Co-PI Sarah Parker Harris, UIC's Department of Disability and Human Development). Awarded June 2010.
  • Awarded $10,000 as the Principal Investigator by The Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation for proposal Why does women's participation in entrepreneurship still lag that of men? An empirical study of recent business school graduates. Awarded July 2010.


  • Renko Maija, El Tarabishy Ayman, Carsrud Alan L. & Brännback Malin.Understanding and measuring entrepreneurial leadership style. Forthcoming in the Journal of Small Business Management
  • Bullough Amanda, Renko Maija & Myatt Tamara. Danger zone entrepreneurs:the importance of resilience and self-efficacy for entrepreneurialintentions. Forthcoming in Entrepreneurship Theory & Practice. DOI:10.1111/etap.12006
  • Renko Maija. Early challenges of nascent social entrepreneurs.Forthcoming in Entrepreneurship Theory & Practice. DOI:10.1111/j.1540-6520.2012.00522.x
  • Parker Harris Sarah, Renko Maija & Caldwell Kate (2013) Accessing social entrepreneurship: perspectives of people with disabilities and key stakeholders. Journal of Vocational Rehabilitation, Vol. 38, No. 1, 35–48.
  • Renko Maija, Bullough Amanda & Kroeck Galen (2012) Expectancy theory and nascent entrepreneurship. Small Business Economics, Vol. 39, No. 3,667-684.