Dr Andreana Drencheva

Lecturer in Entrepreneurship

Room: E101
Phone: +44 (0)114 222 3340
Email: a.drencheva@sheffield.ac.uk
Twitter ID @addy_dren
Picture of Andreana Drencheva
 

I envision a world in which every individual and organisation creates positive social change on a small or large scale. To achieve this, my research focuses on entrepreneurship as a social process and its micro-foundations in human action. New ventures are not the result of a single individual pursuing a big idea, but the development of long ideas to which many individuals and organisations make formal and informal contributions. Embedded in my research is active collaboration with different incubators, accelerators, and support organisations to co-create services, programmes and tools for (potential) (social) entrepreneurs. I am interested in working with ventures that put people and purpose first and enhance the possibilities for living of communities in sustainable ways through entrepreneurship.

Before joining Sheffield University Management School, I worked as a strategist with NGOs, MNCs, start-ups, sport teams, and social ventures to create strong brands and launch successful products, services, platforms, experiences, and campaigns.

Learning and Development

My learning and development approach is guided by the principle that learning is an active and dynamic process. From traditional 3-hour lectures and student-led coaching sessions to intensive weekend/week/summer programmes and service learning, I engage with a great diversity of learners: secondary and high school, undergraduate, postgraduate, and MBA students; marginalised youth; professionals; and (social) entrepreneurs. My role as a facilitator of individuals’ learning involves integration of research and practical application, fostering collaborative relationships with learners, treating learners with respect, and leveraging different ways for learners to engage, apply, and generate knowledge. An important element of my practice is engaged learning whereby learners apply their knowledge and skills to real-world challenges presented by local and national organisations, while also learning from these organisations.

I contribute to learning and development programmes on the broad topics of venture creation (both social and commercial), innovation, research methods, and leadership.

Research interests

My research adopts a micro-foundational perspective to investigate how actions, interactions, cognition, and relationships contribute to venture outcomes, such as venture emergence or innovation. Conceptually, my research draws on theories based in occupational psychology (e.g. proactivity) and sociology (e.g. social capital, informal institutions). Empirically, it aims to contribute to the entrepreneurial method by investigating how specific behaviours and mechanisms can influence the process of developing successful (social) ventures and designing business models.

My current research projects investigate:

  • How do entrepreneurs seek feedback effectively when creating and leading new organisations?
  • How do contextual factors, such as culture and religion, influence entrepreneurship?
  • How do social entrepreneurs develop, change, and innovate business models for sustainable social change?
  • How do social ventures establish legitimacy in the ageing sector?
  • Who are the social entrepreneurs and their values, skills, and identities?

PhD Supervision

If you are interested in any of the following topics or their intersection, do get in touch:

  • Feedback seeking and feedback cultures in new ventures
  • Social entrepreneurship
  • Micro-foundations of entrepreneurial action
  • Social venturing for successful ageing

Working with Organisations and Public Engagement

I collaborate with different incubators, accelerators, and foundations to co-create services, programmes, and tools to support potential and early stage entrepreneurs, especially social and youth entrepreneurs. I specialise in co-creating evidence-based, flexible, and tailored learning and support experiences that meet the needs of individuals and organisations in an engaging and actionable way. If you are interested in this approach, do get in touch.

I also write for the general media, including The Alpine Review, The Guardian, and Leaders Now.