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9th Entrepreneurship as Practice Conference hosted at Leeds

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The 9th Entrepreneurship as Practice Conference (EAP 9) was hosted in April for the first time in the UK at the University of Leeds,

Chaired by Dr Richard Tunstall at the Centre for Enterprise and Entrepreneurship Studies and co-hosted by Dr Bruce Teague at Florida Gulf Coast University, USA, EAP 9 made new connections across different scholarly fields that employ a practice theory perspective.

This approach to entrepreneurship research looks at what entrepreneurs actually ‘do’ rather than who they are. The conference aimed to advance understanding of entrepreneurship-as-practice, foster network ties, facilitate collaborative writing relationships, and build a strong community of practice-research scholars.

One participant said:

EAP is a great community with a diverse group of scholars and practitioners who care about making an impact beyond academics.

This year’s conference focused on the intersection of entrepreneurship-as-practice with other approaches in wider management and organisation research communities. This was to further advance the broader contribution this can make to the understanding of entrepreneurship and practices.

This international conference brought 50 entrepreneurship researchers from across 15 countries to Leeds to develop new insights on how entrepreneurship happens with a focus on entrepreneurial practices. Supported by a panel of academic experts from sociology, strategy, information systems and entrepreneurship.

Another participant said:

EaP conference is an open and inspirational space for the exchange of ideas. I received very constructive and valuable feedback at the workshop session, enjoyed the sense of community, and defined common purpose of developing practice-based research and business solutions.

The keynote speakers included Prof Elizabeth Shove, Prof Sarah Jack and Dr Allison Hui (Lancaster University); Prof Sara Dodd (University of Strathclyde); Professor Richard Whittington (Oxford University), Prof David Allen (University of Leeds) and William B. Gartner, (Babson College, USA).

A new innovation to the conference was to bring research and practice together at the new HELIX student innovation and enterprise space within the University of Leeds. In this session researchers debated with a student entrepreneur panel and expert entrepreneur mentor panel about the day-to-day lived experience of entrepreneurs.

The Conference aimed to inform interested scholars as well as helping to develop empirical and conceptual papers regarding the ‘practice turn’ taking place in entrepreneurship studies. This was achieved through round table discussions, parallel presentations, a popular Paper Development Workshop, and many opportunities to get to know one another.

Finally, the gala dinner brought the delegates back in time with a little insight into medieval practices through a medieval knight’s training re-enactment during dinner at the Royal Armouries in Leeds.

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