Entrepreneurship Research

The cluster is led by Dr Charlotte Carey and is made up of a team of research active staff and PhD students working on a variety of entrepreneurship projects. The focus here is on entrepreneurial context from entrepreneurship education within art schools to provision for female housing association tenants to gender and entrepreneurship and to social entrepreneurship and much in between. This focus on intersectionality and expertise in contextualized entrepreneurship education informs our approach to teaching entrepreneurship.

Entreprenuersip for CEIG

Research areas

Entrepreneurship Education

Our Business School has carried out focused research on entrepreneurship education and graduate entrepreneurship since 2004.

Work in this area is mainly directed through our Business School, which was recognised by REF 2014 as having significant impact. The Business School is engaged nationally and internationally through research to promote entrepreneurialism and social enterprise for the betterment of society.

Our long tradition of research in small business and enterprise has had considerable impact on aspects of entrepreneurship education, finance and marketing contributing significantly to the development of enterprising individuals across the world.

The REF 2014 case study can be found here.

Creative Industries Entrepreneurship

This has been an on-going series of research projects that the Business school have been involved in since 2003.  Studies from the Business school that have examined Creative Industries entrepreneurship include:

  • Entrepreneurship Research Methods for Creative Industries (2014- ongoing)
  • Entrepreneurship and Gender in the Creative Industries (Carey, 2013)
  • Entrepreneurship Education in the Creative Industries, multiple studies (2006-2009)
  • ESF EQUAL: iCi project Social Inclusion in the Creative Industries (2003-2005)

An outlet for this research and the development of insights is focussed around our activity with ISBE (Institue of Small Business and Entrepreneurship). Dr Charlotte Carey is the co-chair of Creative Industries Entrepreneurship conference track and Special Interest Group (SIG). More information about both and how to join the SIG are available on the ISBE website.

In June 2018 we hosted the inaugural SIG event here at Birmingham City University: Collaboration in Creative Industries Entrepreneurship Research: Policy, Practitioners, Impact and Researcher Perspectives: A developing Agenda for Collaboration in the Creative Industries Entrepreneurship Research” you can download this brief overview of the event here.

Ethnic Minority Entrepreneurship

Birmingham City University have a long history of being engaged in research looking at Ethnic Minroty entrepreneurship.

As part of this work Dr Thomas Domboka chairs the ‘Entrepreneurship in minority groups’ track at the annual ISBE conference. ‘The importance of their businesses go beyond their financial contribution, but also have social implications and they share similar business experiences such as breaking out of low value added, overcrowded service sectors and access to finance and markets, etc.’ further information about the track can be found here and details of our research projects in this area will be coming shortly.

Staff working in this cluster 

  • Led by Dr Charlotte Carey
  • Dr Thomas Domboka
  • Professor John Sparrow
  • Beulah Mass

PhD students

  • Tamaralaiyefa Harold Tiemo – Success Factors for Black African SMEs in Mainstream Markets within the United Kingdom.
  • Jacqueline Jenkins - Creative Discipline Education Shaping Entrepreneurial Outcomes Within the Creative Industries; A Gender Perspective.
  • Jessica Lozanzo-Leon - Developing the concept of transformational entrepreneurship and its potential for social and economic impact, particularly in response to the challenges faced by Latin American communities, post- disaster  
  • Jin Mai  - Strategic Agility of Chinese SME Exporters after Foreign Market Entry and Export Performance.
  • Julia Thomason - 'Intrapreneurhsip as a route to sustainability of cultural organisations’.
  • Oyedeji Olufunso Oyeleke - Comparative Entrepreneurial Ecosystem in Supporting New Technology-Based Firms (A case of Nigeria).
  • Seetal Parmar, PhD 2019 - “An Empirical and Comparative Study on How Ethnic Minority Women and Non- BAME Women in Middle Management Roles in the UK”. 
  • Tamaralaiyefa Harold Tiemo – Success Factors for Black African SMEs in Mainstream Markets within the United Kingdom 
  • Xiping Shinnie - 'Multicultural Hybridism as an Extension of Mixed Embeddedness Theory in a Superdiverse and Transnational Breakout Context' 


Here are just some of the funded projects currently being undertaken by staff with the Entrepreneurship Research Cluster

AHEAD Logo 700x350

The AHEAD Project

The Project AHEAD: African Higher Education Leadership in Advancing Inclusive Innovation for Development is a joint initiative of 14 Universities from Europe, Kenya, Uganda, and Tanzania. It is co-funded by the European Commission through the Erasmus+ Programme - Capacity Building in Higher Education.

The project aims at building the capacity of universities in Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania to lead and manage innovation and research that benefit societies and the national economies. In particular, it should create awareness and capacity for promoting inclusive innovation, entrepreneurship at the local level and community empowerment.

Project activities will support universities in intensifying knowledge flows between the academia and external organizations - industry, the public sector and the community. The idea of the project is to combine a traditional focus on developing entrepreneurship & innovation skills through teaching, with a more innovative focus on opening University research to more intense cooperation with external stakeholders. The project teams will establish and kick-start the operations of an Innovation Lab at each of the participating Universities from Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania, which will provide physical working space for collaboration and co-creation with stakeholders in the joint pursuit of innovation and research.

The successful implementation of this project will help make higher education more relevant to the challenges faced by societies and national economies, and will enhance the capacity of Universities to take leadership of open innovation and knowledge exchange in support of inclusive economic growth and community wellbeing.

Birmingham City Univeristy's activity is led by Dr Charlotte Carey and she is joined by Dr Thomas Domboka.

A core objective of this project is: Improvement of the good-practice and evidence base for delivering (social) entrepreneurship education, BCU are leading on this area of Entrepreneurship Education. BCU are leading on the entrepreneurship education aspect of the project. More information on this coming soon.

BEST Logo 700x350

The BEST Project

The Project “Business Education for Sustainability: Teaching Corporate Social Responsibility and Social Entrepreneurship for Sustainable Local and Regional Development”(BEST) was supported by the Erasmus+ Programme of the European Union, Strategic Partnerships addressing more than one field, with a  focus on Higher Education.

Project objectives:
  • To contribute to research and best practices exchange in the field of social entrepreneurship, social innovation and corporate responsibility, with special focus on the situation in the participating countries
  • To develop innovative curricula and teaching materials that fully integrate the subjects of social entrepreneurship and CSR into business/economics education and pay attention to pressing challenges facing modern society

Dr Charlotte Carey was the principle investigator from BCU and other project partners included:

  • International Management Institute – Bulgaria
  • Varna University of Management – Bulgaria
  • Birmingham City University – UK
  • University College Birmingham – UK
  • Utena University of Applied Sciences – Lithuania
  • International School of Law and Business – Lithuania
  • University of Thessaly – Greece
  • Irmir University of Economics – Turkey
  • INDICO – Instituto Internacional de la Innovación, el Conocimiento y Las Competencias – Spain
  • SPI – Sociedade Portuguesa de Inovação – Portugal
  • Polytechnic Institute of Bragança – Portugal

Here we contributed to research and developed teaching materials centred around teaching social enterprise and are freely available.

Entrepreneurial Intent

This is a collaboration with Coventry University and in its infancy. Here we have joined forces with academics from Coventry University to explore our student body’s entrepreneurial intent. More information to follow on this project. BCU’s contribution led by Dr Charlotte Carey. More info coming soon.