Christopher Boafo

PhD Topic

Developing Internationalization Business Competences of Small and Medium-sized Enterprises: The Role of University–Business Linkages

  • There is a consensus internationally that universities play a more active role in revitalizing and regenerating cities, regions, and countries through stimulating and sustaining small and medium enterprise (SME) development. As a result, universities have moved towards what Hansen and Lehmann (2006) label “university as a development hub,” or as “triple helix model” (Etzkowitz and Leydesdorff, 1997). Motivated by this, the University-Business Linkage is a viable concept that one could employ in the study of Internationalization Business Competences of established SMEs. The study adopts a two-phase research design; firstly, exploratory research that combines case studies, and secondly a survey-based study on a large sample of internationalized SMEs. The main significance of this study is to demonstrate how University/SME engagement can be effective and instrumental in aiding the internationalization competences of SMEs



  • 1988 Born in Fomena, Ghana
  • 2003-2006 Prempeh College, Ghana
  • 2008-2012 Bachelor of Art (Publishing Management), Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Ghana
  • 2016-2018 MBA in Small and Medium Business Studies, Leipzig University, Germany
  • Since July 2020 PhD Student, Faculty of Economics and Management Science, Leipzig University, Germany


Professional Experience

  • 2012-2015 Teaching and Research Assistant at the Department of Publishing Studies and Centre for Business Development, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology; Ghana
  • July 2015-June 2016 Assistant Manager at Afram Publications (Ghana) Limited, Ghana
  • September 2017-November 2017 Intern (Research Assistant) at the Trade and Investment Support Institutions (TISI) of International Trade Centre, Geneva, Switzerland
  • July 2018-September 2018 Junior Consultant at the Sparkassenstiftung für internationale Kooperation e.V., East Africa Regional Office, Rwanda
  • October 2018-April 2019 Carlo Schmid Fellow (Research Associate) at the HR Capacity Development, United Nations Volunteers Headquarters, Germany
  • Since October 2020 Research Assistant, International SEPT Program, Leipzig University


Scholarships and Awards

  • 2020-2023 ACCESS Scholarship Grant (DAAD, BMZ, and Leipzig University) for PhD Studies
  • 2019 Award for the Best Master's degree Student with Academic Excellence, International SEPT Program, 2016 – 2018 MBA Intake, Leipzig University
  • 2018-2019 DAAD Carlo-Schmid (Fellowship) Scholarship at the UN Volunteers Headquarters
  • 2017 Winning Team of Hacking Global Health – Improving Urban Health in Africa, Asia and Latin America by the KfW Development Bank at the World Health Summit, Berlin, Germany (Source:
  • 2016-2018 ull DAAD Scholarship – Development Related Postgraduate Courses, Leipzig University



  • Since 2018 Fellow, Carlo Schmid Fellowship, Germany
  • 2017/18 Honorary Member, German Healthcare Partnership, Germany
  • 2016 Member, Deutsch-Afrikanische Gesellschaft e.V., Germany
  • 2016 Fellow, German Academic Exchange Services (DAAD)


Research Interests

  • University-Business Linkages
  • International Business Competence
  • Informal firm internationalization
  • Industrial cluster promotion and development


Conference papers (Refereed):

Boafo, C., Owusu, R.A., Guiderdoni-Jourdain, K., & Servais, P. (2020). "Understanding Internationalization of Informal African SMEs through a Network Perspective”, EIBA-IBR Paper Development Workshop, 10th Atlas AFMI Annual Conference - IAE Poitiers, University of Poitiers, France, 18 – 20 May 2020

Boafo, C. & Dornberger, U. (2020). “Industrial Clusters and their effects on the Internationalization of Micro and Small Informal Enterprises: A Developing Country Perspective”, Conducting field research in methodologically challenging settings virtual workshop, University of Surrey, UK, 2 October 2020

Boafo, C. & Dornberger, U. (2019). “The Internationalisation Degree of Urban Informal Enterprises in Ghana: An Extension of Internationalisation Theories”, 23rd McGill International Entrepreneurship Conference, SDU, Denmark, 28 August 2019.

Boafo, C. (2018). “Entrepreneurial activities of Informal Sector clustering firms and their Internationalisation in Developing Countries: Insights from Ghana”, Alumni Network Sub-Saharan Africa (ANSA) Conference on Social Entrepreneurship. 5.10. – 7.10.2018. Martin-Luther Universität. Halle an der Saale, Germany


Working Paper

Boafo, C. (2018). “Industrial Cluster in the Informal Sector and the Internationalisation of Micro, Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (MSMEs) in Developing Countries: Insights from Ghana”, Master Thesis, Sehr Gut (1,1), Leipzig University, Germany


Christopher Boafo

International SEPT Program
Leipzig University
Ritterstr. 9-13
04109 Leipzig

Tel:   +49-(0)341-9739762
Fax:  +49-(0)341-9731139761