Collaborative entrepreneurship research with University of Valencia In 2012, a Santander Research Mobility Award has been received to improve the collaboration between the University of Valencia and CREED on entrepreneurship research. Members of CREED, including professor Colin Williams, Dr Sara Nadin and Marijana Baric will be visiting the University of Valencia to explore the feasibility of different editorial, writing and research projects.
Entrepreneurial Growth in Gazelles During 2011-12, Dr. Peter Rodgers is leading a British Academy funded research into the resilience of young high-growth firms (Gazelles) in the Sheffield City Region. In collaboration with Dr. Tim Vorley and Dr. Nick Williams, the CREED team are examining to what extent gazelle firms can drive resurgent private sector employment and investment in an age of financial austerity where the UK’s Coalition Government contends that the effects of reducing the size of the public sector can be offset by growth in the private sector. The investigation will pick up on two themes of resilience. First, resilience to recession: what are the dynamics of gazelle firms amidst economic turmoil? Which of these new firms are fragile, which ones grow robustly through the recession? Second, the relationship between resilience and public sector size: to what extent does a large public sector enable or inhibit high-growth firms? Research focuses on the Sheffield City Region and seeks to illuminate how different institutional environments contribute to conditions for a robust emergence of high-growth firms.
Gazelles: Understanding and Facilitating Ambitious Entrepreneurship Dr. Tim Vorley, Dr. Peter Rodgers and Dr. Nick Williams have been successful in gaining funding from SAMS (Society for the Advancement of Management Studies) to host
an event as part of the MADE festival in Sheffield, the UK's premier business festival for entrepreneurs and business growth. This event has formerly targeted entrepreneurs, practitioners and policy makers (for more info see http://www.madefestival.com). The event due to take place in September 2012 will begin with a networking lunch aimed at bringing together academics, policymakers and entrepreneurs to discuss two key questions:
- What is it in the strategic approach of ambitious entrepreneurs and gazelles that is central to realising high growth
- How can the high growth of ambitious entrepreneurs and gazelles be better facilitated by public policy, and does it need to be?
In addition to the panel sessions we have provisionally agreed that the space would be made available for showcasing poster presentations from academics on entrepreneurship research throughout the duration of the MADE festival. The event will be recorded and vodcasts made available through the MADE website, Business Advantage and the University of Sheffield. This event represents an opportunity to stimulate debate between academics, entrepreneurs, practitioners and policy makers concerning the strategies of ambitious entrepreneurs and high growth firms. In terms of the scholarly benefit, the intention is that the event serves to advance the frontiers of research in the two spheres of management inquiry. Hosting an academically led event as a part of the MADE entrepreneurship festival represent a unique opportunity for engagement by nurturing a dialogue to ensure management studies remains relevant to impacting on policy and practitioner communities.
AMRC Dr. Tim Vorley, Dr. Peter Rodgers, Dr. Nick Williams and Professor Colin Williams have been funding of £15,000 to conduct an economic impact assessment of the Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (AMRC) at the University of Sheffield.
Making the transition from informal to formal enterprise: barriers and policy solutions Over the period 2010-12, the Institute of Small Business and Entrepreneurship (ISBE) Research and Knowledge Exchange Fund (RAKE) has provided funding for CREED to workin cooperation with Community Links, a third sector agency based in the East of London to conduct a qualitative survey of entrepreneurship in the informal sector in deprived neighbourhoods and to host a number of seminars with both European policy-makers and the UK policy community, including HMRC, to disseminate the findings. The CREED members involved are Prof Colin Williams and Dr Sara Nadin.
Home-Based Business In developing their work on the Sheffield City Region, Dr Peter Rodgers and Dr Tim Vorley have been researching the prevalence of home-based businesses. Focusing on the Creative Economy the study identifies a variety of reasons why and when people elect to start business at home. The research findings distinguish between factors relating to an individual’s work life and personal life, and contribute to debates of necessity- and opportunity-based entrepreneurship. Given the economic downturn it is unsurprising that a high proportion of respondents cited redundancy as a critical factor in starting a home based business, however such businesses were often regarded as a preferred option to seeking alternative employment not as a last resort.
Sheffield 2035 In 2012, collaboration has occurred between the Sheffield Executive Board and the University of Sheffield to inform and assist the formulation of strategies and delivery plans to enhance the future development of the city. This collaborative working will seek to enhance the evidence-base, develop more in-depth understanding, and facilitate the development of strategic perspectives on the medium to long term futures which might shape and influence the achievement of City strategy. The aim of ‘The Sheffield 2035 Project’ is to enable the Sheffield Executive Board to adopt a long-term strategic approach to the development of the city. To achieve this, the intention is to facilitate some scenario-informed strategic visioning of what Sheffield should look like in 2035, and to formulate options of how the Board might influence and shape desired outcomes in the medium to long term of 5 to 20 years in the future. The Project has three key elements: scenario informed visioning; backcasting based strategising; and a participatory approach supported by external inputs.
Energy2b - Intelligent Energy (European Union) One of CREED’s flagship projects is Energy2B, a pan European competition intended to stimulate the development of entrepreneurial ideas among university students relating to all things sustainable, renewable and green. In the first round of the competition which ran in five European countries finished in June 2011 students from the University of Sheffield were placed first (Edvarts Dzelzitis), second (Joseph Teasdale) and third (Neil Cooke) winning over €7500 in prizes and access to business support to develop their winning ideas. The primary investigator, Dr Tim Vorley, and the Master Cutler presented the winners with their prizes and launched the second cycle of the competition at the MADE Entrepreneurship Festival. Mr Stewart Holdsworth, the Energy2B Project Manager, is currently publicising the current competition for which the deadline for entries is December 2011. Energy2B webpage
Entrepreneurship in Deprived Areas Entrepreneurship is often analysed through the prism of ‘success’, for example by examining international exemplars of innovation such as Silicon Valley or the drive of entrepreneurial personalities. However, less is understood about lagging regions or deprived areas which lack sustainable levels of socially productive entrepreneurship, and it is in the these deprived areas where they key challenges of entrepreneurship policy are. Dr Nick Williams has been examining deprived areas in order to further understanding of the barriers to entrepreneurship, through studies of the perceptions of entrepreneurship in these areas, motivations, uses of social capital and business support. This work contributes to analysis of economic under-performance and what policy priorities should be to improve levels of entrepreneurship in deprived areas.
Future of the Sheffield City Region economy (Sheffield City Council), which is producing a vision entitled "New Industries, New Jobs: shaping the future of the Sheffield City Region economy". Partnership project involving staff from the University of Sheffield and Sheffield Hallam University.
New MSc in Entrepreneurialism In addition to research CREED delivers cutting edge research led teaching, testament
to which Dr Tim Vorley and Dr Nick Williams have developed a new MSc in Entrepreneurialism which is set to launch in September 2012/13. Drawing on the research expertise of CREED the new course will be focused on different aspects of entrepreneurship, including modules on corporate entrepreneurs, social entrepreneurship, venture creation and regional enterprise and entrepreneurial development. Anyone interested in the new MSc should contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more detail
MBA student projects Student-based company projects focusing on key management issues facing local SMEs. Projects completed on issues ranging from strategy to marketing with SMEs including BagItDontBinIt, PartyYourWay, Walnut Club, BiBCOM. If you are a company interested in having an MBA student work with you on a project, please contact: Dermot Breslin
Creating a European platform for tackling undeclared work (European Commission DG Employment and Social Affairs), which is evaluating the feasibility of creating a European platform for coordinating the fight against undeclared work. Partners are Regioplan (Netherlands), Centre for Social Democracy (Bulgaria) and Linköping University (Sweden).
Innovation Voucher Project funded by the Business Link Innovation Voucher Scheme involved the completion of a business plan for high-technology university spin-out Magnomatics as it positions itself to exploit growing market opportunitites.
Third Mission Seminars Universities are increasingly required to be more entrepreneurial and demonstrate wider
socio-economic value. In association with colleagues at the Universities of Manchester and Leicester, Dr Tim Vorley is leading an ESRC seminar series looking at the Third Mission in contemporary Higher Education from a variety of different international perspectives. For more information visit the seminar series website: www.niiseminars.co.uk
Evaluating the informal sector in Casablanca In 2011, the Bergische Universität Wuppertal sub-contracted a research project to evaluate the extent and nature of the informal economy in Casablanca to CREED. Dr Peter Rodgers, Prof Colin Williams and Dr Sara Nadin have worked in collaboration with TNS Morocco to produce an extensive survey of the informal sector coupled with in-depth interviews. The aim is to explore the feasibility of the informal sector as an integrative factor of climate-optimised urban development in Morroco.
New Industries, New Jobs: shaping the future of the Sheffield City Region economy Sheffield City Council commissioned the production of a prospective new industrial policy for Sheffield city region. This was produced in a collaborative partnership between the University of Sheffield, including CREED, and Sheffield Hallam University.
Project Resilience In 2011, funding was gained from the University of Sheffield’s HEIF 4 Knowledge Transfer Fund in order to develop a research project, examining the resilience of the Sheffield City Region. This project marks the foundation of a new research agenda aimed at strengthening the resilience of regional and local economies by engaging practitioners and informing policy debates.
On the 25th May 2011 ‘Project Resilience’ held a forum and networking event introduced by the Rt Hon David Blunkett MP (Sheffield Brightside and Hillsborough) at the ICOSS. This brought together a range of stakeholders including academics and business people to discuss what makes a resilient economy. Following the forum the first strand of CREED research has examined the importance of civic leadership as a factor affecting the resilience of the Sheffield City Region. The recently published report marks the start of an ongoing policy relevant evidence based research agenda.
Who Wants To Be An Entrepreneur? As a part of the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) Festival of Social Science, Dr Tim Vorley, Dr Peter Rodgers and Dr Nick Williams have led a number of outreach events aimed at college students across the Sheffield City Region. The interactive all-day events provided students with an inspiring taster of entrepreneurship education, and allowed them to test their entrepreneurial skills. Hosted in conjunction with Business Education South Yorkshire (BESY) and University of Sheffield Enterprise, the events brought together academics and practitioners to introduce to young people from South Yorkshire entrepreneurship research and teaching at the University of Sheffield.
Informal Work Practices amongst Migrant Workers Dr. Peter Rodgers has led an ESRC project, examining hidden work practices amongst Ukrainian and Russian migrant communities in the UK. This project sought to examine the complex and crosscutting reasons behind hidden work practices and elucidate what are the barriers for individuals to enter formal labour markets. The results of the research will feed into debates within the wider policy making communities regarding the methods of HMRC of enabling compliance and punishing non-compliance. The findings were presented in a paper by Dr. Peter Rodgers, Dr. Tim Vorley and Professor Colin Williams at the British Academy of Management Conference in September 2011.
Studying European Innovation Policy In February 2011 Dr. Tim Vorley was awarded funding through the European Spatial
Observation Network (ESPON) as the UK partner in a pan European study, The Advanced Monitoring and Coordination of EU R&D Policies (AMCER) project is examining the impact of EU programmes such as the FP6/FP7 and the CIP in the East of England. Working together with Dr. Peter Rodgers the pair of CREED researchers are examining the impact of European innovation policies on both R&D performance and territorial cohesion. Ultimately the research will feed into an inter-regional comparison and serve as a monitoring tool with empirical evidence used to develop insights and understanding about the impacts of EU policies at the regional level. The intention is that the project will support robust and better informed policy making in European and national policy.
Evaluating the feasibility of creating a European platform for coordinating the fight against undeclared work Between 2009 and 2011, the European Commission provided €460,000 to evaluate the feasibility of establishing a European platform/agency to coordinate the fight against undeclared work in the European Union. This involved desk-research of similar European platforms, surveys of key stakeholders in government and other social partners, and workshops throughout Europe bringing together senior government officials and other social partners to explore the feasibility of different policy options.
Knowledge bank of best practice for tackling undeclared work (European Foundation for the Improvement of Living and Working Conditions), which has collected evidence from 27 European Union member states on best practice when seeking to combat undeclared work. http://www.eurofound.europa.eu/areas/labourmarket/tackling/search.php
Developing a strategic vision for education in the 21st century (Department for Children, Schools and Families) – member of Expert Advisory Group developing a strategic vision for education in the 21st century so that the national educational system can begin to respond and make the changes required.
Evaluating the effectiveness of Her Majesty´s Revenue and Customs (National Audit Office), member of advisory committee conducting a value for money study of Her Majesty´s Revenue and Customs (HMRC) efficiency and effectiveness in tackling the hidden economy.
Advice on local economic development (Sheffield City Council), which provided informal advice on a Local Enterprise Growth Initiative (LEGI) and other economic development matters.
Designing a survey of undeclared work in the European Union (European Commission DG Employment), which evaluated the feasibility of conducting a direct survey of undeclared work in the European Union. The survey was subsequently implemented in the form of 27,000 face-to-face interviews in 27 countries. Partners included TNS (Germany), Regioplan (Netherlands) and Rockwool (Denmark).