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Global entrepreneurship education conference comes to the Management School

Wednesday, November 2nd, 2016

2017 entrepreneurship_education_conf_banner

Sheffield University Management School is hosting the 2017 EFMD Entrepreneurship Education Conference, from 8- 10 March 2017.

As home to the Centre for Regional Economic and Enterprise Development (CREED), a team of researchers focused on enterprise and entrepreneurship, whose expertise feeds into our Masters in Entrepreneurship and Management, the School is committed to advancing knowledge through research insights and communicating its work to policymaking and practitioner communities to promote stronger entrepreneurial environments in the UK and internationally.

Director of CREED, Professor Tim Vorley, is leading the event. He said: “Researchers and practitioners in the field of entrepreneurship continue to push the boundaries about what we understand about entrepreneurs and how they operate. This has important implications for entrepreneurship education, both in terms of what leading businesses and management schools teach and how they teach it.

“Entrepreneurship education is no longer characterised by classes on start-up and business plan assessments. Over the past five years the EFMD Entrepreneurship Education Conference has showcased a range of pedagogic approaches and practices at the frontiers of the field. In 2017 the theme of the EFMD conference focuses on ‘Entrepreneurship inside Organisations’ as an area of entrepreneurship and management education that is growing in interest.”

Working closely with businesses and organisations of all sizes, both on our doorstep and globally, is essential to all aspects of Sheffield University Management School; by doing this our research is informed by practitioners, our students benefit from a comprehensive employability programme, and we know we’re teaching cutting-edge material across all courses.

Associate Dean for Learning and Teaching, Dr Robert Wapshott, said: “Students at business schools, from graduates to executives, are increasingly concerned with the question of how to foster entrepreneurship inside organisations, which for academics and entrepreneurship educators leads us to rethink the learning environments we’re developing. Through the conference participants will be encouraged to reflect upon their own professional practice.”

The notion of entrepreneurial practices occurring within organisations is increasingly regarded as a driver of productivity and profitability. During the conference, keynotes, sessions and workshops will explore how companies have come to approach the challenge of becoming more entrepreneurial and what this means for entrepreneurial education and entrepreneurial educators.

Click here to find out more and book your place.

CREED summer school explores migrant entrepreneurship

Tuesday, August 30th, 2016


Dr Chay Brooks from the Centre for Regional Economic and Enterprise Development (CREED) has been leading the European Entrepreneurship Summer School held at the University of Sheffield’s International Faculty in Greece. The summer school, now in its seventh year, is held in conjunction with our international partners from University of Groningen (Netherlands), High School of Economics (Russia), and the University of Twente (Netherlands).

Dr Brooks said: “It has been amazing week with the students learning about entrepreneurship in the sun! We have had a great range of international speakers sharing insights from their research.”

Across the week students were involved in a series of lectures, workshops and debates in different areas of entrepreneurship. This year the central theme of summer school was the socio-economic impacts of migrant entrepreneurship, which is an important issue in Europe. During the week students had sessions by academics on research including informal entrepreneurship, technology entrepreneurship, corporate entrepreneurship and entrepreneurship and public policy.

Dr Robert Wapshott, who also taught at the summer school, explained: “The aim of the event is to bring together students from across Europe to learn about and debate cutting edge entrepreneurship research.”

During the week students worked in international teams to develop in-depth presentations on some of the big questions facing entrepreneurship research. As the teams explored their topic in depth they sought to unpack the complexities of creating more entrepreneurial individuals, organisations and societies. The team awarded the best presentation included Ann Lozovaia and Alexander Kalita from HSE, Tuong Nguyen from Leipzig and Zhuang Jing from Sheffield, who gave a critical account about the importance of informal entrepreneurship.

Reflecting on her participation in the summer school, Kelly Lawrence, a Sheffield student, said: “The summer school was a fantastic opportunity to meet other students interested in entrepreneurship research. The programme was excellent and we all had a brilliant week.”

The CREED team participating in the summer school this year led by Dr Chay Brooks. It also included Dr Robert Wapshott, Dr Peter Rodgers, Cristian Gherhes and Professor Tim Vorley. Next year the summer school will be held in Moscow and the topic will be on green and sustainable entrepreneurship. If you’re interested in applying to take part, watch this space.




British Academy grant will strengthen links with Ukraine

Wednesday, July 20th, 2016


Dr Peter Rodgers, Lecturer in Strategy and International Business at the Management School (pictured), has been awarded a grant from the British Academy’s International Partnerships and Mobility Scheme which he will use to strengthen links with academic colleagues in Ukraine via a research project. Peter leading the grant will work with co-investigator Prof Tim Vorley and other members of the CREED research centre within the Management School. 

The project, which will explore the non-market strategies of export orientated Ukrainian firms, aims to explore this area from a research angle while also building dialogue with a variety of relevant stakeholders in Ukraine’s business and policy-making circles.

Peter said: “We’re delighted to receive this grant – it has fundamental benefits not only for the academics involved, but for CREED as a leading research centre examining the nature of economic transformations taking place across post-socialist spaces in Europe, the Management School and the partner institution Kyiv Molyla Business School too.

“The partners see this as an opportunity to build an extended collaboration, beyond this grant, which draws on capabilities at both institutions.”

Ukraine remains the second poorest country in Europe and its economic transformation has been stunted for a number of reasons, including ongoing conflict in the east of the country; ‘rent seeking’ activities and corrupt practices of economic and political elites and a burgeoning informal economy. Peter is an expert in business-state relations in emerging economies and has previously worked extensively in Ukraine and Russia. He has also provided policy advice to the British government on the business landscape in Ukraine, so is well positioned to work with Ukrainian colleagues on exploring the roles, restraints and current relations which hamper the country’s attempts to generate sustainable economic development.

Facilitated workshops and online webinars, as well as visits in person, will bring the research team from CREED and Kyiv together and enable them to build regional partnerships with organisations. This approach is unique in Ukraine – together we will be breaking new ground.


Postgraduate students place highly at International Graduate Competition

Thursday, June 2nd, 2016

Hear from our four students who came a fantatsic second in the HEC Montreal International Graduate Competition, as well as one of their mentors Professor Tim Vorley:

Intensive competition challenges our students in Canada

Tuesday, April 26th, 2016
e, e, e and e

Gerardo, Lena, Cristian and Emad

For 48 hours, four of our postgraduate students are ‘cut off’ from the world – working on a business case in an international competition in Canada.

The fifth International Graduate Competition (IGC), held annually by HEC Montreal, has brought together a number of student teams from world-leading universities to collaborate and compete around a live business case on the themes of network economics, marketing, strategy and IT management.

As one of the first UK teams to attend the competition, the Sheffield group join attendees from Australia, America, Canada and all over Europe. The Management School-funded trip, run and also attended by members of the Centre for Regional Economy and Enterprise Development (CREED) provides a fantastic opportunity for the students who underwent a rigorous selection process.

The students in attendance are Lena Suess (MSc Creative and Cultural Industries Management), Cristian Gherhes (PhD student with CREED), Gerardo Taboada (MSc Logistics and Supply Chain Management) and Emad Ejielat (MSc Entrepreneurship and Management).

Prof Tim Vorley, who is attending the competition in Montreal as a mentor with Dr Robert Wapshott, said: “The six-day event has begun with a series of ice-breaking, team-building sessions, followed by lectures and workshops which are relevant to the themes. Following this, the students were given the brief and have been put into a period of 48 hours with no contact from the outside world, apart from the opportunity to interview experts from the company that has set the business case.

“On Wednesday, the students present their projects. They prepare a 60 page analysis and recommendations and pitch it to the organisation.

“It’s a great opportunity for the students and has given the Management School a presence on this international stage, where we can build links with similar, accredited schools.”

Linking social science and innovation

Wednesday, November 11th, 2015

Prof Tim Vorley from the Management School is leading the Innovation Caucus – a new initiative developed and funded by Innovate UK and the Economic and Social Research Council to facilitate closer collaboration between these governmental and academic communities.

Working with Dr Chay Brooks at Sheffield, and a range of academics from other national universities, Prof Vorley will drive the Caucus to promote knowledge exchange between social science researchers and Innovate UK with the aim to support the innovation ecosystem.

Recent activity from the team has provided briefings to the government which should shape decisions made in the up-coming spending review, looking at different ways of funding enterprise and innovation in the UK.

The primary goal of the Innovation Caucus is to demonstrate and promote the value of social science research to Innovation UK. It will enhance its impact and build connections. To find out more, watch their introduction video:

You can connect with the Innovation Caucus on their website or via Twitter.

Startify7 mentors digital start-ups in Brussels

Wednesday, October 28th, 2015

L-R: Arindam Ghosh, Thomas van den Boezem and Theodor Beutel from the Breathar team

Following a successful summer of digital academies around Europe, the Startify7 project gathered teams with potentially successful ideas in Brussels at the start of October.

The nine winning teams of young digital entrepreneurs from all three Startify7 academies – held in Sheffield, Trento and Munich/Nuremberg – participated in a three-day acceleration boot camp by fine-tuning their business models, setting up their start-up profiles and finally pitching to high profile investors at the event.

Supported by experts and mentors, the 45 selected participants followed an intensive programme enabling them to improve their business models and sharpen their business plans in order to become venture capitalist (VC) ready. They received advice from a former VC on funding, discussing everything from how to find the right investor to establishing a good term sheet. They also had targeted and professional mentoring to enhance their pitch decks and pitching abilities.

Each Startify7 academy focused on a different entrepreneurial subject. The Sheffield Digital Health Academy identified entrepreneurial solutions to healthcare challenges and supported participants in pursuing their own ideas. The three winning Sheffield teams came up with digital business ideas; one to support healthcare in rural Africa, a second which is an asthma detection aid, and finally a digital microscopic aid that one of the judges commented ‘could revolutionize healthcare’.

Dr Robert Wapshott, one of Startify7’s co-investigators who supported teams at the Brussels event, commented: “Sheffield teams were awarded first, second and fourth positions in Brussels – a fantastic result which reflects very well on the successes of the digital health academy. Breathar, the asthma detection aid, took top spot so the team has been awarded a presentation slot at the European Venture Summit in December.”

Startify7 is a Horizon 2020 project from the European Commission aimed at training young future ICT entrepreneurs in Europe. It organises seven thematically focused summer academies in seven different European cities that follow a lean-training structure and emphasise strong team-building as well as learning-by-doing processes. You can follow the progress of the teams at and @startify7.

Digital healthcare innovation comes to Sheffield

Tuesday, August 4th, 2015

Forty enterprising young people from across Europe are in Sheffield to kick-off a series of EU-funded workshops, aimed at training and developing innovative ICT entrepreneurs.

The delegates, from 19 countries, are using their time on the Startify7 project at the University of Sheffield to work on entrepreneurial ideas around digital healthcare. After spending last week developing concepts in teams, they will do further refinement and pitch to a panel of judges on Thursday.

Three teams who are deemed to have the most innovative ideas then attend a follow-up workshop in Brussels in September. Professor Tim Vorley, Chair in Entrepreneurship at Sheffield University Management School, is leading the project which was funded by a European Commission Horizon 2020 grant. He said: “It’s so inspiring to see budding entrepreneurs explore the complex but burgeoning world of digital healthcare innovation. The international nature of the project ensures that we’re considering cultural and budgeting factors and all attendees are benefitting from a global exchange of ideas.

“This is the first in a full programme of workshops to be held all over Europe, at partner organisations in Italy, Germany, Spain, Greece, Poland, Belgium and the Netherlands. I have taught on this programme, alongside my colleagues Dr Robert Wapshott and Kate Penney, and it’s been amazing hearing the initial ideas coming from teams, exploring areas such as innovative delivery through the use of drones, and digital products such as apps for vulnerable groups such as the elderly or disabled.”

Held at the Interdisciplinary Centre of the Social Sciences (ICOSS), delegates are working with staff from relevant University of Sheffield research teams such as CREED (the Centre for Regional Economic and Enterprise Development) and ScHARR (the School of Health and Related Research) to build on their ideas and benefit from academic expertise in the fields of healthcare and innovation. They also visited the Digital Catapult Centre in London to hear about the work of technologists working at the frontiers of digital healthcare.

A visiting tutor on the workshop, Jorge Gonzalez from partner project GET Health, summed up the timely nature of Startify7: “Events like this are integral to challenging and developing the future of digital health in Europe. It is vital that we engage a bright, technically minded generation in innovations for this area of research as, given the pace of digital, their ideas may be changing lives in just a few years’ time.”

Find out more about Startify7 and its up-coming European workshops here:

Dr Tim Vorley discusses the One North project

Thursday, August 7th, 2014

We asked Dr Tim Vorley, Senior Lecturer in Entrepreneurship at Sheffield University Management School, to comment on the recent £15billion, 15-year One North transport plan:

“This represents  a tremendous opportunity for the north of England – with better links, the these five cities [Sheffield, Leeds, Liverpool, Manchester and Newcastle] can work together to create an economy that is stronger together than they are individually. London and the south east is a city state, and there is a n0rth-south divide, so if the north of England is to realise its potential, these cities need to grow through closer cooperation to attract investment as opposed simply competing with each other.

 “While there has been a great deal of hype behind high-speed rail (HS2) bringing the north closer to the south, investing in the infrastructure of northern cities offers an alternative means to generate growth. Creating a ‘super region’ of these five cities offers a way of securing growth potential – it will not only promote endogenous growth, but also act as a magnet for external investment to the north of England.

“Although the capital investment in infrastructure is a core element of the proposed project, it will have ramifications in the region far beyond that. Unlocking the specialist knowledge, skills and expertise is extremely important for the north, but also the UK economy more widely. For Sheffield it would enable the city to build on its strengths in advanced manufacturing and materials, digital and IT, and healthcare, and create new opportunities by working with other northern cities.”

The One North project proposes that a 125mph trans-Pennine rail link, a faster link to Newcastle and better access to Manchester Airport are needed.

It has been developed by an alliance of five cities – Leeds, Liverpool, Manchester, Newcastle and Sheffield.


SUMS is proud to support Doncaster in its bid to secure the £150million High Speed Rail College

Friday, June 13th, 2014

The High Speed Rail College which would generate about £150million for the Doncaster and Sheffield City Region economy is one step closer after the Government announced today that Doncaster had made the national shortlist of four.

In an online article published on the ‘Business Doncaster’ website ( Sheffield University Management School’s Dr Tim Vorley expresses the university’s support of the project and the positive impact the college would have on the Doncaster and Sheffield City Region economy.

Read the full article below:

Doncaster is up against Birmingham, Derby and Manchester to land the college which will help the town’s expanding rail and engineering sector to flourish.

Mayor of Doncaster Ros Jones, said: “I am delighted we have made it to the final stage of the process and we will be pulling out all the stops to bring this college to Doncaster for the benefit of businesses and people in the town, the Sheffield City Region, Yorkshire and the north-east of England. This is a major achievement and testament to the partnership approach we have taken to get us into the top four.

“We are a rail town with a rich history of leading the way in rail and engineering. Cutting edge locomotives like Flying Scotsman and Mallard were designed, built and maintained right here in Doncaster and this engineering prowess continues today with over 10,000 people employed in the sector.

“Having the college in Doncaster will have a transformational impact on growing the sector. It will help our businesses expand, offer people world class training, deliver quality jobs and drive economic growth in Doncaster and across the Sheffield City Region.”

“By choosing Doncaster, the Government will spread the benefit of HS2 to other parts of the country and help rebalance the national economy. We want to bring rail home,” concluded Mayor Jones.

The project will be carried out in partnership with the Centre for Regional Economic and Enterprise Development at Sheffield University Management School, the MERail Railway Research Group in the Department of Mechanical Engineering and the AMRC Training Centre.

Dr Tim Vorley, Senior Lecturer in Entrepreneurship, at Sheffield University Management School, said: “The new college will reaffirm the Sheffield City Region as a hub for world class engineering. The University of Sheffield is extremely proud to partner Doncaster Metropolitan Borough Council in helping to produce highly skilled world leading engineers who will create this pioneering rail project.”

The private sector led Centre for Rail And Technical Excellence (CREATE), coordinated by Doncaster Council and supported by Sheffield City Region Local Enterprise Partnership, business leaders and partners including local authorities across the region submitted the bid last month.

Commenting on the news Wabtec Group Managing Director, Chris Weatherall, said: “Wabtec Rail is delighted that Doncaster’s submission to host the High Speed Rail College has been selected to go through to the next round.  The establishment of the College in Doncaster would be an acknowledgement of the town’s continuing role as one of the UK’s leading centres of railway engineering.  From Wabtec’s business perspective it is important that to support the continuing growth in railway engineering there is a centre for the training of future engineers and Doncaster is the ideal location for this.”

Just last week, Wabtec announced they had taken on their 1000th employee.

Simon Carr, LEP Board Member and Managing Director at Henry Boot Construction, said: “This is excellent news for Doncaster and will make the Sheffield City Region a worldwide hub for rail engineering training. As one of the biggest infrastructure projects in Europe, the scale of demand for engineering skills from HS2 will be unprecedented. With its reputation as a rail town, location on the East Coast Mainline and existing rail business base, Doncaster is clearly in a very strong position to win this competition. The new college will have clear benefits for businesses across the Sheffield City Region who will be looking to win contracts and recruit skilled staff as the £42.6 billion project gets underway.”

Professor Philip Jones, LEP Board Member and Vice Chancellor of Sheffield Hallam University, said: “It is great news that Doncaster has been shortlisted as one of the final bids for the new national High Speed Rail College. The new college will grow the Sheffield City Region’s strength in engineering skills through its universities and colleges, and will build on specialised courses such as the Network Rail Foundation Degree at Sheffield Hallam University. As the HS2 project progresses, demand for highly qualified engineers will become greater and greater and we look forward to working alongside the new college to train the highly skilled engineers this huge project will need.”

A final decision will be made by an advisory group in July following presentations by the bidders. The group will consist of representatives from Crossrail, HS2 Limited, the Department for Business Innovation and Skills and the Department for Transport.

The research and teaching centre would be built on a 5.1 acre site at Doncaster’s Lakeside. The site already has outline planning permission and is walking distance to household names in the rail and engineering industry including DB Schenker, Volker Rail and Unipart.  The campus would also be close to the town centre, motorway network and Robin Hood Airport Doncaster Sheffield.

People can back Doncaster’s bid at: and keep updated with the latest news on Twitter: #railtown

Read the article at: