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Entrepreneurship in Challenging Contexts

The Centre for Enterprise and Entrepreneurship Studies (CEES) is a leading focus of research on entrepreneurship, specialising in entrepreneurship in challenging contexts. While a great deal of academic research focuses on ‘entrepreneurial success’, in terms of examining leaders of entrepreneurial activity in localities of high attainment, our research focuses on the people, places and institutions which face significant barriers to entrepreneurial activity or are experiencing significant change. We are engaged in contemporary research debates on this topic, producing outputs in high quality journals, as well as contributing to policy discourse and practice to ensure our research has a real impact.

Our research cuts across numerous themes within the context of challenging contexts, with studies having been undertaken related to refugee entrepreneurship, digital transformation, entrepreneurship policy in emerging economies, corporate social responsibility and value chains in sub-Saharan Africa, as well as migrant entrepreneurship and studies on the creative arts and crafts in developing innovative and sustainable economies.



Professor Diane Holt has recently been appointed to a promising new project which aims to explore the potential of African universities in contributing to global development.

Full information on Diane's project can be found here.

In addition to the above, we are also conducting research into the transfer of digital capabilities within SMEs. Members of our team also examine new theories which illuminate our understanding of these issues, such as entrepreneurship as practice, employing practice theories to advance scholarship.

Enterprise and Entrepreneurship Education

Our team also focuses on research into enterprise and entrepreneurship education, ensuring that not only do we provide research-informed teaching but that we also contribute to key debates on this important and growing topic. Members of team have focused studies on important topics such as blended learning and creating global classrooms, experiential learning through social and simulation-based education, digital learning and MOOCs, entrepreneurial learning, how it informs entrepreneurial impacts, as well as aspects of leadership and creativity, and skills issues. Our leadership in this field has led to invited talks around the world on a range of cutting edge issues in learning and education.

We have received a wide range of funding for our research and currently hold UK funding grants from the Leverhulme Trust and the British Academy, as well as international organisations such as the Catalan government. We also have significant experience of European grant funding, with our team delivering and involved in Erasmus and Erasmus +, Horizon 2020, FP7 and EU Tempus projects.

Postgraduate Research & PhDs

Sherif Youssef PhD ResearcherIf you are interested in postgraduate research training working towards a PhD in any area of entrepreneurship please contact Prof. Nick Williams. Our team is keen to supervise strong PhD candidates across our range of research interests. You will be part of an energetic research environment with opportunities for dynamic interaction with students and faculty members from across the globe. The LUBS research community offers a vibrant atmosphere that will stimulate your research and prepare you for the future.

Details can be found on the individual staff page for the research interests of current staff as well as their most recent publications.

Information on applying for doctoral studies is available here.