Dr Kelly Smith

Dr Kelly Smith

Department of Management
Senior Lecturer in Entrepreneurship

Contact details

Birmingham Business School
University House
University of Birmingham
Edgbaston, Birmingham
B15 2TT

Dr Kelly Smith is a Teaching Focused Senior Lecturer in Entrepreneurship in the Department of Management at Birmingham Business School.


PGCert TLiHE, University of Birmingham, 2000

PhD in Cognitive Science (Psychology), University of Birmingham, 1998

MSc in Cognitive Science, University of Birmingham, 1993

BSc (Hons) in Psychology, University of Birmingham, 1992


Kelly Smith is currently Senior Lecturer (Teaching Focussed) in Entrepreneurship in the Department of Management at Birmingham Business School, University of Birmingham.

Before her recent move to Birmingham, Kelly was Course Director of BA Enterprise and Entrepreneurship at Coventry University, one of a very small number of undergraduate-level new venture creation programmes in the UK. She lectured, face-to-face and online, on topics such as personal and entrepreneurial development, hi-tech entrepreneurship, and social media for business.

Previously, Kelly was Head of Enterprise and a Principle Enterprise Fellow at the University of Huddersfield.  Kelly managed the University’s Enterprise Team, helping students and graduates explore self-employment and business and social enterprise start-up. She also led the Graduate Entrepreneurship Project – an ERDF-funded collaboration of Yorkshire and the Humber’s 10 universities. Alongside her work on business start-up support, Kelly was a Business School-based academic with a research specialism in enterprise and entrepreneurship education. She was also Course Director for the University’s BA in Enterprise Development new venture creation degree. Prior to her move to Huddersfield, Kelly was Project Manager of the West-Midlands wide DTI-funded Technology Enhanced Enterprise Education (TE3) initiative based at the University of Birmingham.

Kelly was a Trustee and Vice President for Education and Practitioner Learning for the Institute of Small Business and Entrepreneurship (ISBE) until November 2019. She is the current Co-Chair of ISBE's Enterprise Education conference track, and a founding Co-Chair of the joint ISBE/EEUK Research in Enterprise Education Community of Interest. Kelly has also been a Board Member and Chair of Enterprise Educators UK (EEUK), the national network of enterprise and entrepreneurship educators in Higher Education. She is both a Fellow and an Honorary Life Fellow of EEUK.

Kelly has a strong interest in the use of learning technologies and social media to support enterprise education and early stage business start-up, and has a reputation as an influential enterprise educator on Twitter. She has a record of conference presentation and journal publications on a range of topics including the impact of enterprise education and and entrepreneurship support, engagement of graduates with business start-up, and enterprise skills training for postgraduate research students.

Kelly was a member of the writing panel for the influential QAA guidance for enterprise and entrepreneurship education (2012 and 2018), and the All Party Parliamentary Group for Microbusiness report - An Education System Fit for an Entrepreneur (2014).


Research interests

  • Impact of enterprise and entrepreneurship education
  • Student entrepreneurial intent
  • Venture creation programmes

Other activities

  • Founding Co-Chair of ISBE/EEUK Research in Enterprise Education Community of Interest (2018-present)
  • Trustee of the Institute for Small Business and Entrepreneurship - ISBE (2013-2019); VP Education and Practitioner Learning (2015-2019); VP Policy and Practice (2014-2015)
  • Director of Enterprise Educators UK - EEUK (2008-2013); Chair (2011-2012); Honorary Life Fellow (awarded in 2013); Fellow of EEUK (2019-present)
  • Writing panel member for UK QAA Guidelines for Enterprise and Entrepreneurship in in Higher Education (2010-present)
  • All Party Parliamentary Group for Microbusiness Education for Entrepreneurs Policy Advisory Group (2013-2014)
  • Fellow of The RSA (2015-present)


National Policy and Guidance:

QAA (2012 and 2018) Enterprise and Entrepreneurship Education: Guidance for UK higher education providers, QAA, Gloucester, UK.

Anderson, S., Culkin, N., Penaluna, A., & Smith, K. (2014). An Education System fit for an Entrepreneur. Fifth Report by the All Party Parliamentary Group for Micro Businesses. APPG Microbusiness, February 2014.

Representative Publications Include:

Smith K., and Clegg, P. (2017), “Experiencing Business Start-Up through an Enterprise Placement Year”. In Jones P., Maas, G. and Pittaway L. (eds.) Entrepreneurship Education (Contemporary Issues in Entrepreneurship Research, Volume 7). Emerald Publishing Limited, pp.307 – 333.

Smith, K., (2015), Measuring the impact of enterprise education and entrepreneurship support in higher education: Can routinely collected data be of use? Industry and Higher Education, 29 (6): 493-503.

Smith, K., Williams, D., Yasin N., and Pitchford, I. (2014) Enterprise skills and training needs of postgraduate research students. Education + Training, 56 (8/9), 745-763.

Higgins, D., Smith, K. and Mirza, M. (2013) Entrepreneurial education: reflexive approaches to entrepreneurial learning in practice. Journal of Entrepreneurship, 22 (2). pp. 135-160.

Smith, K.J, and Beasley, M., (2011). Graduate Entrepreneurs: Intentions, Barriers & Solutions. Education + Training, 53(8/9), 722-740

McKeown, J., Millman, C., Sursani, S. R., Smith, K. & Martin, L. (2006) Graduate Entrepreneurship Education in the UK. Education + Training, 48, 597-613.

View all publications in research portal