Small Business and Entrepreneurship Research
Explore our research in small business and entrepreneurship
Our small business and entrepreneurship research looks at how entrepreneurial behaviours, capabilities, strategies and public policies affect the wider entrepreneurial ecosystem – the social and economic environment that determines whether entrepreneurship can develop and thrive.
Uncertainty in innovation-driven economies makes it increasingly important to promote small businesses and entrepreneurial activity. These economies are the most highly developed so further development must come from new ideas. Our research helps organisations, individuals and policymakers understand the conditions and strategies needed to create resilient entrepreneurial ecosystems focused on achieving SMEs that are successful in the long term.
We research the entrepreneurial behaviours focused on opportunity and threat identification, and choice over which opportunities to pursue. We look at the skills and resources then needed to pursue such entrepreneurial opportunities and how they might be implemented. We also explore government initiatives that create opportunities, resources and behaviours such as training and degree apprenticeships.
Much of our research is conducted in the Portsmouth Business School (PBS). PBS is a holder of the Small Business Charter award and is one of a small number of world-class business schools in the UK that have demonstrated the ability to help businesses grow.
We have substantial links with UK and international universities and business organisations, and the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) funded our research with Women’s Enterprise Scotland to discover the importance of female-owned businesses to the UK economy. The outcomes from this research are being used to lobby for greater government support for female entrepreneurship. We also received funding from the European Union to explore female entrepreneurship in disadvantaged areas around the English Channel and coastal regions of northern France.
Our research is regularly published in academic journals including the International Journal of Entrepreneurial Behaviour and Research, Annals of Operations Research, Small Business Economics, International Journal of Small Business Research, and the International Review of Administrative Sciences.
Our research covers the following topics
- Entrepreneurial behaviour, cognitions and emotions
- Capabilities, learning and enterprise education
- Performance, growth and value creation
- Risk and resilience issues for Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs)
- Social innovation and entrepreneurship
- Female entrepreneurship
- Policy and public support programmes including accelerators, incubators and regional economic growth programs
- Concepts of the Entrepreneurial and Enterprising University
- Start-up and nascent entrepreneurship
We use quantitative research methods including traditional regression and quantitative indexing, Fuzzy Set Qualitative Comparative Analysis (FsQCA) and Multi Sectoral Qualitative Analysis to measure causal effects.
Our research informs our undergraduate and postgraduate degree programmes, including BA (Hons) Business and Management, BA (Hons) Business Management and Entrepreneurship, MSc Innovation Management and Entrepreneurship, and MBA Strategic Leadership.
Computing a common preference vector in a complex multi-actor and multi-group decision system in the Analytic Hierarchy Process context
Amenta, P., Ishizaka, A., Lucadamo, A., Marcarelli, G., & Vyas, V. (2020). Computing a common preference vector in a complex multi-actor and multi-group decision system in the Analytic Hierarchy Process context. Annals of Operations Research, 284(1), 33-62.
Buckley, P. J., Driffield, N., & Kim, J. Y. (2022). The role of outward FDI in creating Korean global factories. Management International Review, 62(1), 27-52.
Cho, D. S., Ryan, P., & Buciuni, G. (2022). Evolutionary entrepreneurial ecosystems: A research pathway. Small Business Economics, 58(4), 1865-1883.
Complementary frameworks for examining global innovation: aligning GVCs, industrial clusters, and entrepreneurial ecosystems
Cho, S., Ryan, P., & Buciuni, G. (2022). Complementary frameworks for examining global innovation: aligning GVCs, industrial clusters, and entrepreneurial ecosystems. In Cross-Border Innovation in a Changing World: Players, Places and Policies. Oxford University Press.
Johnston, K., Danho, E. J., Yarrow, E., Cameron, R., Dann, Z., Ekinsmyth, C., ... & Doyle, A. (2022). Governance and public policies: Support for women entrepreneurs in France and England?. International Review of Administrative Sciences.
Intersections of gender, ethnicity, place and innovation: mapping the diversity of women–led SMEs in the UK
Owalla, B., Nyanzu, E., & Vorley, T. (2021). Intersections of gender, ethnicity, place and innovation: Mapping the diversity of women-led SMEs in the United Kingdom. International Small Business Journal, 39(7), 681-706.
Underrepresented innovators: an assessment of innovation activities in women-led businesses in the UK
Owalla, B., Vorley, T., & Nyanzu, E. (2022). Underrepresented innovators: an assessment of innovation activities in women-led businesses in the UK. In Gender, Diversity and Innovation (pp. 110-123). Edward Elgar Publishing.
Mapping SME productivity research: a systematic review of empirical evidence and future research agenda
Owalla, B., Gherhes, C., Vorley, T. and Brooks, C. (2021) “Mapping SME Productivity Research: A Systematic Review of Empirical Evidence and Future Research Agenda” Small Business Economics
Pickernell, D. G., Battisti, M. , Dann, Z. & Ekinsmyth, C. (eds.) (2022) Disadvantaged Entrepreneurship and Entrepreneurial Ecosystem, Emerald Group Publishing Limited. (Contemporary Issues in Entrepreneurship Research; Vol. 14)
Deriving the weights for aggregating judgments in a multi-group problem: an application to curriculum development in entrepreneurship
10. Wasim, J., Vyas, V., Amenta, P., Lucadamo, A., Marcarelli, G., & Ishizaka, A. (2022). Deriving the weights for aggregating judgments in a multi-group problem: an application to curriculum development in entrepreneurship. Annals of Operations Research, 1-25
We're looking into how organisations in low technology and process industries can optimise the management of their product and process development.
Sustainability and Business
We're identifying how businesses can embed sustainability practices to contribute to achieving the UN's Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Risk and security management
We're helping organisations and individuals think of alternative ways of identifying, understanding and overcoming risk and security challenges.
We're researching how entrepreneurial behaviours, capabilities, strategies, and public policies affect the wider entrepreneurial ecosystem and economy.