Newton building

Entrepreneurship and Innovation Research Group

  • Unit(s) of assessment: Business and Management Studies
  • School: Nottingham Business School


Currently both in the UK and internationally, policy initiatives are directed towards the development of an enterprise culture, encouraging greater participation in entrepreneurial activity in schools, colleges, universities and in the wider community and in stimulating the development of the SME sector as a catalyst for economic growth.

The terms innovation, enterprise and entrepreneurship are still loosely defined within the academic, government and practitioner communities, thus enabling a range of disciplines to engage in the research agenda. The NBS Entrepreneurship and Innovation Group reflects the interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary nature of the field, with its members drawn from the Marketing, Management and HRM Divisions.

The group's focus is on the challenges faced by individuals, organisations and policy makers in fostering innovation and supporting and developing enterprises. While colleagues are engaged with emerging entrepreneurs, there is also research being undertaken at different stages of the SME life cycle. Research also addresses functional aspects of the management of small and medium size enterprises.

A more comprehensive list of staff interests is as follows:

  • managing SMEs
  • incubators
  • non-profit organisations
  • entrepreneurial learning
  • SMEs in transitional economies
  • entrepreneurship and community culture
  • artisan knowledge
  • HR in the SME
  • entrepreneurial skills development
  • family business
  • risk management in supply chains
  • supply chains in the SME sector
  • social enterprise
  • women entrepreneurs
  • small business marketing
  • international enterprise and innovation policy
  • green innovation
  • innovation off-shoring.

There is strong engagement with individual entrepreneurs, small businesses and policy makers at a local, regional, national and international level. This engagement is reflective of the applied and practical nature of the research undertaken.

Related staff

Core members

Associate members

Postgraduate researchers

Related projects

Some recent externally funded research projects include:

  • Smith, D.J. and Ehret, M. ESRC CASE PhD studentship (ES/H039716/1) - From Property Management to Business Growth: Business Support in Biotech Incubators in collaboration with BioCity Ltd, Nottingham (2010-2013)
  • Smith, D.J. British Academy/Leverhulme Small Research Grant (SG 130887) - Artisanal Knowledge, Specialty Production and Innovation in the Brass Musical Instruments Sector (January 2014 – June 2015)
  • ESRC Seminar Series 2015-16 (EM/M002292/1) 'Green Innovation: Making it Work' (2015/16)
    Smith, D.J. and Ackrill, R. with Richard Blundel, Open University

Background to the series

The primary aim of this seminar series is to promote a deeper understanding of green innovation, with a focus on the factors that facilitate and constrain its practical application. In doing so, it will also seek to propagate knowledge about the institutional changes and infrastructures required for the effective dissemination and diffusion of green innovations in both developed and developing country contexts. We have adopted the shorthand term 'green innovation' to signal its role as an open forum for the exchange between academics, practitioners and policy-makers. Presentations will draw on the latest thinking, while remaining accessible to non-specialists, and will examine different types of innovation (social, technological, organisational etc.) and domains of practice.

Seminars will feature these themes:

  • Policy perspectives and initiatives (UKRO, Brussels)
  • Business strategies and business models (The Open University, Milton Keynes)
  • Green innovation applications: energy (London – venue TBC)
  • Green innovation applications: mobility (The Open University, Milton Keynes)
  • Deconstructing green innovation: implications for policy and practice (NTU, Nottingham).

Who should attend?

The seminar series will be of interest to academic researchers, practitioners and policy-makers working in the fields of innovation, enterprise and environmental sustainability. The seminar organisers are also particularly keen to attract PhD students researching these subject areas.

Proposed outputs

The seminar series webpages will feature abstracts from presented papers. Related publication opportunities include a special issue of the International Journal of Entrepreneurship & Innovation, and agreement in principle with an academic publisher for an edited book of readings.

Further information

Please email Professor David Smith.

Still need help?

+44 (0)115 941 8418