Research Themes

The Centre for Entrepreneurship’s research themes examine the wide-ranging aspects of entrepreneurship at local, national and international level.

Our members work with other academics, practitioners and policy makers to understand and address some of the key challenges and opportunities, helping make sense of the entrepreneurship landscape.

1. Internationalisation of Social Enterprises

This research focuses on how social enterprises engage with international stakeholders and the effect this has on their social and financial objectives.  It considers the role of institutions and international investors and their impact on the enterprise’s performance as well as other factors influencing a social enterprise’s international strategy. 

2. SMEs and Internationalisation

Using data from SME’s, support agencies and policy-makers, this international research considers the risks and benefits of internationalisation for SME’s along with policy ramifications at the macro and micro level.  Stakeholders in the research include both ‘born-global’ enterprises through to established organizations seeking to expand internationally through product and service exchange. 

3. Social Value and Impact Measurement

This research examines the emergence and adoption of social value and impact measurement and the tools social enterprises use to monitor and evidence progress.  It examines the impact of including beneficiaries in the measurement process and whether measurement differs across industries.  It also considers whether measurement tools help provide legitimacy and/or if there are any negative outcomes. 

4. Social Investment and Social Entrepreneurship

This programme explores entrepreneurial finance and how social entrepreneurs access investment.  Within this, specific projects focus on: performance differentials in impact investment; role and effects of net positive returns; impact metrics and investment relationships; the social and economic impact balance; and prosocial fintech. 

5. Sustainable Venturing

This project seeks to ascertain how entrepreneurs create social, ecological and economic value and how entrepreneurship can be effective in problem-solving and in working towards the sustainable development goals, such as: low carbon innovation; sustainable food; inclusive growth; climate change and healthy living. 

6. Transformational Entrepreneurship

Working with those facing challenging life circumstances such as poverty, violence, social injustice and displacement, this project examines how entrepreneurship may offer a pathway to overcoming these life circumstances. 

7. Crisis, Challenging Environments and Entrepreneurship

This research examines entrepreneurship during periods of disruption such as man-made and natural disasters and considers the impact on the life circumstances of at-risk groups.

8. Entrepreneurship and Disadvantaged Groups

Working with academics, policy-makers and partner organizations, this research analyses groups in society, such as women, ethnic minorities, disabled, younger/older people and the unemployed, who experience inequality in society and therefore are disadvantaged when accessing resources to engage in entrepreneurship.

9. Young People and Entrepreneurship

This project examines the attitudes, experiences and motivations of young people considering entrepreneurship as a career option and how they perceive its risks and rewards.

10. SMEs and their External Support Networks 

By segmenting the SME population and analysing their needs according to size, age, sector, innovation capabilities etc., this project considers how entrepreneurs perceive and interact with external networks.  It analyses the process entrepreneurs go through when seeking external assistance from other professionals and public agencies, what stimulates the need, their selection criteria and preferences/experiences. 

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