ISBE 2024

November 6 - 7

Small business and entrepreneurship research has a significant role to play in addressing inequalities at…

  •  6th November 2024 - 7th November 2024
     8:00 am - 5:00 pm


The 2024 Conference with take place from 6-7 November 2024 in Cutlers’ Hall, an impressive Grade II listed building in the heart of Sheffield.

Doctoral Day, Sheffield Business School, 5 November 2024

Entrepreneurship research, policy and practice for a more equitable world

Small business and entrepreneurship research has a significant role to play in addressing inequalities at local, national and global levels, but to date the potential impact of this collaborative research has not been fully realised. ISBE2024 will bring together in Sheffield a group of leading researchers, practitioners and policymakers to explore together how to ensure that our research has a tangible impact on this crucial area of global concern.

In the business and management disciplines, researchers have unpacked new evidence and generated practical insights in response to some of the world’s most pressing problems. At the top of these problems is, arguably, the inherent contradiction of worsening inequality in a more prosperous world. The global economy has witnessed significant growth over the past two decades, yet the period has concurrently seen a decline in productivity and worsening inequality, exacerbated by Covid-19 pandemic. A recent Oxfam report claimed that, in the past four years alone, the world’s richest 1% have captured almost two-thirds of all new wealth.

Small business and entrepreneurship research has a potentially significant role to play in addressing these challenges. Yet, despite some progress small business and entrepreneurship research has not to date had commensurate impact on policy and practice. Some scholars have raised new questions about the uncertain future of small businesses in the changing global economy, in the wake of inequities instigated by digital transformation. There are challenges associated with limited access to resources in lower-income countries and disadvantaged communities, where entrepreneurs are grappling with limited access to capital, technology and markets. In the UK, the recent announcement by the central government of South Yorkshire as the “first investment zone” is in response to growing public pressures to spread economic opportunities to communities that have been left behind. It also underlines the importance of SMEs as drivers of inclusive growth.

Furthermore, the increasing integration of AI into the global economy, while presenting significant advancements, is reported to disproportionately favour high-income workers and capital investors, potentially deepening economic disparities. The tendency of AI-driven automation to disproportionately impact low-skilled workers exacerbates the income gap, hindering social mobility. As AI and other frontier technologies make rapid advance, regulations and policies need to evolve and keep pace, to effectively address emerging issues and challenges. Policy interventions must, in turn, be driven by knowledge and evidence. In effect, AI’s transformative potential and its challenges represent a collaborative frontier in entrepreneurship research and practice. This collaborative effort must involve researchers, policymakers, and industry stakeholders in the drive to harness AI’s capabilities while also addressing the risks of amplifying societal biases and inequalities. By uniting diverse expertise and perspectives, we can ensure that entrepreneurship thrives in an AI-enhanced future, where technology serves as a tool for positive social impact and equitable growth.

There are also entrenched systemic inequalities that affect marginalised groups including minorities and women. Research is needed to unpack the evidence and generate new insights and strategies to tackle these barriers through, for example, the creation and promotion of new entrepreneurial ecosystems that support diverse founders and stakeholders. Similarly, wars and protracted conflicts are taking heavy tolls on countries and communities, and more households are grappling with the challenge of precarious work. As public scrutiny intensifies on corporate practices, scholars must push the frontiers of applied research that can inform new pathways for social action and ethical responsibility, with entrepreneurship playing a catalysing role.

It is abundantly clear that, in order to make impact, entrepreneurship researchers must work in dynamic synergy with stakeholders across the public and private sectors. This requires new ways of doing and disseminating research, with a renewed focus on interdisciplinarity, engaged scholarship and co-production, and a rethink of the university as the dominant site of knowledge production. Scholars must engage the new landscape with the humility to learn and a renewed commitment to engage non-university actors as knowledge producers.

At ISBE 2024, we welcome policy makers, industry practitioners and third sector actors to join university scholars in series of plenaries, parallel sessions and keynote addresses to explore new pathways for transformative collaborations among university, industry and public sectors in the drive towards a more equitable world.

The city of Sheffield is eminently suited for this conference, and Sheffield Business School, Sheffield Hallam University is happy to host the distinguished delegates, in association with the University of Sheffield and Leeds Trinity University. The conference theme resonates specially with Sheffield and the wider Yorkshire region, where there are new collaborative efforts between governments, industry and the universities in the region to drive inclusive opportunities across communities. We look forward to seeing you in November at Sheffield Business School!

Conference Chairs:

Professor Seun Kolade, Sheffield Business School
Associate Professor Alexandra Anderson, Sheffield Business School
Professor Steve Johnson, Leeds Trinity University


7-15 Church Street, Sheffield, South Yorkshire, S1 1HG


Telephone Number: 01142 768149


Please click here for the dedicated accommodation webpage designed for ISBE 2024.  The page links to the real time online accommodation guide.

Making bookings: Reservations can be made using the web address above until 28 days prior to the event start date. On this date some hotels will choose to leave unsold rooms on the system, or they may remove them. The site will close fully 14 days prior to the event start date.

Details Price Qty
ISBE Organisational Member Early Bird £430.00 GBP  
ISBE Organisational Member Standard £480.00 GBP   Goes On Sale
10th September 2024
Non-Members Early Bird £460.00 GBP  
Non-Members Standard £510.00 GBP   Goes On Sale
10th September 2024
ISBE Individual Member Early Bird* £420.00 GBP  
ISBE Individual Member Standard* £470.00 GBP   Goes On Sale
10th September 2024
Full Time Student Rate £310.00 GBP  
Wednesday Day Delegate £260.00 GBP  
Thursday Day Delegate £260.00 GBP  
Conference Gala Dinner £72.00 GBP  
Doctoral Day £55.00 GBP