Entrepreneurship & Local Economy

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The Department of Entrepreneurship & Local Economy (ELE) provides entrepreneurship education across the university, conducts academic research funded by a range of public and industry sources, and engages with policymakers and business advisory agencies in the UK and Europe to inform their work with entrepreneurs and in small businesses.

Degrees and Courses

Find out about the Entrepreneurship & Local Economy related degrees and courses offered across all levels of study, as well as programmes offered in other departments, that are available at Birmingham Business School; view degree programme and courses.


The department hosts a group of active researchers exploring enterprise in all its forms, through collecting and analysing data about economic activity at city, regional, and national levels. We work closely with small business owners and founders, banks lending to start-ups, trade unions, policymakers, and other academics around the world. Members of the department also research the articulation of entrepreneurship with local and national policy and planning.

Current research includes community media and creativity, ‘Smart City’ leadership, start-ups, propensity to engagement in entrepreneurship, migration, super-diversity, and religious belief.

Recent research has been funded by the Economic & Social Research Council (ESRC), Arts & Humanities Research Council (AHRC), and British Academy and is manifest through three significant initiatives:


Department members lead and contribute to degree programmes across the business school and university, encouraging undergraduate, postgraduate and doctoral students to think about:

  • enacting or fostering enterprise in smaller and larger companies
  • local development in the Birmingham and West Midlands area
  • entrepreneurial character and learning
  • practical skills involved in entrepreneurship.


Dr Caroline Chapain

Dr Caroline Chapain



  • Creativity, innovation, creative industries and creative cities and regions
  • Economic restructuring, plant closures and redundancies
  • Local and regional economic development
  • Public policies (governance, cluster policy)
  • ...

Email c.a.chapain@bham.ac.uk

Dr Tom Coogan

Teaching Fellow

Dr Tom Coogan joined Birmingham Business School in September 2012 after several years working across disciplines and departments in critical theory, sociology and management. Tom’s PhD at Leicester University was an inter-disciplinary project looking at disability identity in terms of discourse and embodiment. 

Tom is currently working on research into disability entrepreneurship, and ...

Telephone +44 (0)121 4148983

Email t.a.coogan@bham.ac.uk

Dr Drew Gertner

Dr Drew Gertner

Research Fellow
Enterprise Research Centre (ERC) and the Centre for Research in Ethnic Minority Entrepreneurship (CREME)

Drew Gertner is a Research Fellow at CREME working on a research project focused on mapping the landscape of enterprise support for diverse businesses. The research project is part of the Enterprise Research Centre (ERC), a collaborative programme of work led by Warwick Business School with Aston, Imperial and Strathclyde Business Schools as partner institutions.

Email d.gertner@bham.ac.uk

Dr John Gibney

Dr John Gibney

Senior Fellow

Research Interests & Specialisms

  • Leadership & Governance in City, Regional and Cross-border Economic Development
  • Leading & Organising in/for Knowledge Creation and Innovation
  • Knowledge and Learning Policy in the Sub-national Development Context

CALL FOR ABSTRACTS: Exploring Varieties of Leadership in Urban and Regional Development 

A Regional Studies Association ...

Telephone +44 (0)121 414 3051

Email j.gibney@bham.ac.uk

Professor Francis Greene

Professor Francis Greene

Professor of Small Business and Entrepreneurship
Head of Department of Entrepreneurship & Local Economy

Francis Greene joined BBS in April 2012 from Warwick Business School where he worked in the Centre for Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises.  Francis is current Head of the Department of Entrepreneurship & Local Economy. He has been a visiting professor at Mannheim University and a visiting researcher at Barclays Bank and for the New Zealand government.  His client list includes ...

Telephone +44 (0) 121 414 3277

Email f.greene@bham.ac.uk

Dr Yipeng Liu

Dr Yipeng Liu

Senior Lecturer in Entrepreneurship

Dr. Liu is a Senior Lecturer (Associate Professor) in Entrepreneurship at Birmingham Business School, University of Birmingham, UK. His research areas include entrepreneurship and innovation, mergers and acquisitions, talent mobility and entrepreneurial ecosystem, and business sustainability. He serves on the editorial review board for Management and Organization Review, and Journal of ...

Telephone 0121 414 4652

Email y.liu.8@bham.ac.uk

Professor Monder Ram

Professor Monder Ram

Director, Centre for Research in Ethnic Minority Entrepreneurship (CREME)

Monder Ram joined Birmingham Business School from De Montfort University in September 2013 where he was Professor of Small Business and Director of Centre for Research in Ethnic Minority Entrepreneurship (CREME) and Co-Director of the Enterprise and Diversity Alliance (EDA). Birmingham Business School is the new home for both CREME and the EDA.

He has extensive ...

Telephone +44 (0)121 415 8438

Email m.ram@bham.ac.uk

Dr Scott Taylor

Dr Scott Taylor

Reader in Leadership & Organization Studies

Scott Taylor joined BBS in April 2013. He previously worked at Essex, Exeter, and Loughborough universities, and at Birmingham from 2002 to 2007. He is also co-chair of the Critical Management Studies division at the Academy of Management from 2013 to 2017, and a member of the editorial board of the International Small Business Journal.

Telephone +44 (0)121 414 6703

Email s.taylor@bham.ac.uk

Professor Kiran Trehan

Professor Kiran Trehan

Professor of Leadership and Enterprise Development

Kiran Trehan joined Birmingham Business School in March 2012 from Lancaster University Management School where she was Deputy Head of Department and Director of HRD and consulting. She is a leading expert on diversity, enterprise and leadership development. She currently holds the post Professor of Enterprise and leadership Development and is Academic Director for the Centre for ...

Email k.trehan@bham.ac.uk

Dr María Villares-Varela

Dr María Villares-Varela

Research Fellow

María is a Research Fellow at CREME carrying out research in the field of ethnic minority business and small firms.

Email m.villares@bham.ac.uk



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