New ISBE Fellows 2022

The ISBE Fellowship recognises significant contribution to the research landscape in small business and entrepreneurship, and a continued engagement with policymakers and business owners alike.

This year, the Institute is delighted to award five Fellowships to experts who have long supported the Institute, the annual conference and the wider community.

Professor Simon Bridge, Emeritus Professor Ulster University

Simon has been a longstanding member of the ISBE community and has contributed to and across ISBE community groupings. Simon is a practitioner, having his own small business for decades. He has also written a series of enterprise policy books and has engaged with policy makers to advocate for effective SME and enterprise policy. Simon has recently completed his PhD and successfully defended his thesis at viva. Moreover, he has attended every ISBE conference for the past 35 years plus, (in fact, he has continuously attended since the organisation was called UKEMRA). Despite his 76 years, Simon attended ISBE’s Covid-recovery conference in Cardiff. Simon could be regarded as representing the spirit of ISBE.

Simon straddles our traditional communities – he is a small business owner/practitioner, who has undertaken teaching across many years at Ulster University, has published a series of books on enterprise policy, has influenced policymakers and, as an eternal student, recently completed his PhD. At 76 years young, he remains forward-looking and his attendance at every ISBE conference for the past 35 years represents his commitment to the ISBE community.   The relevance of his research and activities resulted in an invitation to present his research in Malta following his paper presentation at ISBE 2021 in Cardiff. While an unassuming gentle man by nature, Simon is well regarded within the ISBE community and authoritative within his area. His support and promotion of ISBE also extended to assisting conference organisers in gaining institutional support and offering to exploit his contact networks to assist with a delivery of a previous ISBE Belfast conference.

Professor Mark Hart, Deputy Director, ERC,  Aston Business School, University of Aston and ESRC Enterprise Research Centre

Mark is one of the UK’s leading academics in the field of small business and entrepreneurship. Over a distinguished career he has published extensively in all the leading journals in the field, as well as in regional and urban studies, management and small business economics. He is Deputy Director of the Enterprise Research Centre funded by the ESRC and a range of UK government departments and bodies. He jointly manages the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor in the UK. There are few if any academics who currently has done as much as Mark in terms of policy advisory work and practitioner engagement on small business and entrepreneurship. Mark advises a number of UK government departments and devolved administrations. He is the academic lead of the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses Programme, as well as establishing the Aston Growth Programme. He played a leading role in the establishment of the Small Business Charter accreditation programme, and more recently has had a significant advisory role in the piloting and roll-out of the Help to Grow Management programme, appointed by the Chancellor of the Eschequer to its Expert Advisory Council. Mark was awarded the Queen’s Award for Enterprise Promotion in 2014, in recognition of 35 years of activity in research and teaching in the area of small business and entrepreneurship.

Professor Maggie O’Carroll, CEO/Visiting Professor, The Women’s Organisation; University of Liverpool; Hunter Centre, University of Strathclyde

Maggie co-founded The Women’s Organisation as a social enterprise in 1996, as a commitment to improving the economic position of women and providing business support services to help more women to start and grow their own enterprises. Maggie has led the overall strategic development of the charity and social enterprise, which now operates internationally delivering business and education services across Europe and in China, Thailand and Africa. Maggie is actively involved in shaping women’s economic development policy on a local, national and international basis. Maggie’s work has been recognised across the UK, with business accolades including ‘Entrepreneurs Champion of the Year’ and ‘Social Leader of the Year’. In over 20 years the Women’s Organization has supported 70,000 women entrepreneurs and helped 4000 start-ups.

Maggie has been a strong supporter of ISBE over the years, attending the annual conference with other members of her team from the Women’s Organization. Maggie grew up in Ireland and has lived and worked in the USA. She has an MA degree in Social Enterprise and Entrepreneurship from Judge Business School, University of Cambridge.

Professor Stephen Roper, Director Enterprise Research Centre, Warwick Business School

Stephen has over 30 years’ experience of researching issues related to small and medium enterprises, innovation and innovation policy in the UK and internationally and has published widely in both areas. Professor Roper is one of the leading research scholars in the field of Entrepreneurship and small business management. He has led over 70 externally funded projects, has been a member of a number of government advisory boards, and regularly acts as a consultant for OECD and the World Bank on issues related to small business development and innovation policy including projects in Austria, Abu Dhabi, Mexico, Israel, Columbia and Poland, Austria and Canada over the last four years. Stephen is an Academician of the Academy of Social Sciences and a Fellow of the RSA.

Professor Roper is Director of the Enterprise Research Centre, an independent research centre which conducts policy relevant research on SME growth and development. The ERC is a partnership between Warwick Business School, Aston Business School, Birmingham, Imperial College Business School, Strathclyde Business School and Birmingham University Business School. The ERC project is funded by the Economic and Social Research Council, the UK government Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, the British Bankers Association and the Technology Strategy Board. The ERC has a significant impact on government practice and policy towards small business behaviour policy and practice. Professor Roper is one of the leading Entrepreneurship and Small business management researchers in the UK

Professor Kiran Trehan, Pro-Vice-Chancellor Partnership and Engagement, University of York

Kiran has made a significant contribution to highlighting the contribution of, and challenges facing, minority entrepreneurs – those from ethnic minority backgrounds and/or women. Her work has been boundary spanning, engaging with both policymakers and practitioners to create meaningful impact.

Kiran also made a significant contribution to the future of ISBE by helping to ensure its longevity through the Covid-19 crisis as a consequence of the Institutional membership scheme introduced under her Presidency.  Kiran has also undertaken the role of conference chair in 2022, securing significant sponsorship to ensure another financially successful conference that can help consolidate ISBE’s financial position going forward. Kiran has demonstrated commitment to the ISBE community going forward and to the communities with which she engages in research and knowledge exchange activities. She was forward looking in her Presidency, seeing an opportunity for Institutional membership to immediately safeguard the Institute’s future.


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