Who we are

The Institute for Small Business and Entrepreneurship (ISBE) is the UK’s largest and most well established network for individuals and organisations involved in:

  • Enterprise education practice
  • Small business and entrepreneurship research
  • Entrepreneurship policy formulation, delivery and evaluation
  • Small business support, advice and development

With over 500 members, a network of close to 4,000 and a strong and relevant board, ISBE is at the forefront of developments in this sector.

About ISBE

The Institute for Small Business and Entrepreneurship (ISBE) is a network for people and organisations involved in small business and entrepreneurship research, policy, practice, education, support and advice.

ISBE’s members are its most valuable resource, offering vast reserves of knowledge and research. Through events and activities, ISBE aims to disseminate this research to business owners, policy makers and business support organisations where it can have genuine impact and inform change, and to share these resources with academics, researchers and educators. Through ISBE’s network and activities, academics, business owners, policy makers and those who work in business support are able to connect and form beneficial working relationships.

Our Purpose

To enable excellence in small business and entrepreneurship across our research, policy, practice and learning communities

Our Values are CLEAR


Looking forward




Our Vision

To connect our membership and their communities to pursue excellence in small business and entrepreneurship

Our History

How it all Began: ISBE’s meetings started in the mid 70s shortly after the publication of the Bolton Report in 1971 which led to the emergence of entrepreneurship as a legitimate public policy target and focus for academic research. By 1977 these ad hoc, informal meetings of the early small business and entrepreneurship researchers had become a full annual and international conference which is still running over 40 years later.

The Institute is formed: Originally an annual conference hosted by a different university each year, it was not until 1989 that the researchers formally organised as the UK Enterprise Management and Research Association (UKEMRA). Three years later, in 1992, the name was changed to Institute for Small Business Affairs (ISBA). In 2004, recognising the increased focus on entrepreneurship in policy and research, the organisation became the Institute for Small Business and Entrepreneurship (ISBE).

Our past activities and achievements: Through the years as well as the ISBE conference, ISBE has held many regional events in the form of doctoral work shops, work shops on all aspects of entrepreneurial education and research, policy think-tanks and debates in response to government iniatives and other contemporary issues, and practical, skill building work shops for small business practitioners. ISBE has produced many publications such as books, reports, research papers and conference outcomes. In addition to this ISBE provided a network for those in the field of small business and entrepreneurship allowing collaboration, debate and sharing of valuable insight, knowledge and best practice. In this way ISBE sought to contribute to the world of enterprise by disseminating knowledge and skills, platforming the latest research, supporting entrepreneurial education and encouraging debate.

ISBE/ISBA Presidents:

Lorna Treanor – November 2023 – Present
Andrew Henley – October 2021 – November 2023
Kiran Trehan – November 2019 – October 2021
Gideon Maas – November 2017 – November 2019
Pauric McGowan – November 2015 to November 2017
Nigel Culkin – May 2014 to November 2015
Lynn Martin – May 2012 to April 2014
Nigel Lockett – May 2010 to April 2012
Colette Henry – April 2008 to April 2010
Paul Hannon – November 2006 to March 2008
Colin Gray – 2004 to November 2006
David Harvey – 2002/2004
Ian Chaston – 2001/2002
David Deakins – 1999/2000
Francis Chittenden – 1995/1998
Paul Burns – 1992/1994
Ken O’Neill – 1991/1992

Current ISBE Executive Officers

Current ISBE Board Trustees

Current ISBE Co-opted Board Members

ISBE Fellows