New professor of international business


Florian Zapkau will join the ranks of the faculty of WU’s Department of Global Business and Trade.

[Translate to English:] Florian Zapkau (c) Svjena Mangold

WU is pleased to welcome its new professor of international business with a special focus on SME internationalization in June. Florian Zapkau, aged 43, obtained his doctoral degree from Germany’s JLU Giessen in 2013 for his thesis entitled “Four Essays on SMEs and Entrepreneurship.” After working as an academic staff member at HHU Düsseldorf, he became an assistant professor at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam in 2017. In 2019, he was also appointed program director at VU Amsterdam, overseeing the development of the MBA in International Business program. In 2020, he became associate professor of international business. Over the course of his academic career, Florian Zapkau has also worked as a visiting research fellow at King’s College London.

Research on international business and entrepreneurship

In his research, Florian Zapkau is interested especially in the various internationalization strategies pursued by small and medium-size enterprises (SMEs) and start-ups. He often takes a quantitative empirical approach. “In the work I’ve done so far, I’ve for example looked at what SMEs can learn from previous international market entry projects and how this influences their market entry strategies moving forward,” explains WU’s new professor. Florian Zapkau’s research results have also been included in practically oriented projects. He has for example collaborated in an interdisciplinary project investigating the barriers to stress prevention in small businesses and developing pragmatic and effective web-based stress prevention tools based on the results of this analysis. Professor Zapkau has taught university courses at all levels, from bachelor’s programs to executive education. “I’m very much looking forward to working at WU. I’m excited to contribute to research and teaching at the Department of Global Business and Trade. SMEs are the backbone of the economy, and they make up the bulk of all businesses that operate on the international level.  Today, new enterprises often launch their internationalization efforts immediately once they’ve been established. I’m thrilled to cover these exciting topics in WU’s teaching and research and in cooperative projects with partners from the business community,” says Florian Zapkau.

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