Date: Tuesday 7th November 2023

Time: 9.30am-5.00pm

Location: Aston Business School (Susan Cadbury Lecture Theatre), Aston University


The Doctoral day will provide participants with an opportunity to listen to best practice from world leading Entrepreneurship academic scholars plus network with Doctoral peers and build networks. The doctoral day will also give attendees the opportunity to “test” their doctoral concepts with a different audience.  The doctoral day will offer a poster session competition whereby doctoral candidates can submit a summary of their doctorate to date and obtain feedback from experienced Entrepreneurship academics.  This Doctoral day is suitable for anyone at any stage in the Doctoral journey.

PhD Poster Competition

Attendees are invited to submit a Doctoral poster as part of the Doctoral day. Attendees can discuss their doctorate through their poster with academics and fellow students. The poster will be ideally presented on an A3 sized document and should provide an overview of the aims and objectives of the study, the key literature, the methodology and the likely contribution to knowledge. A certificate will be awarded for the best poster in terms of imaginative design and critical content. Please bring a paper copy of your poster to the event if you wish to participate as we will display it during the event. However, participants can attend the day without submitting a poster.

There are a few places left if you are interested in attending, please register here before 20th October.

If you have any queries, please contact: Paul Jones on

Doctoral Day Agenda

Time Session Lead Session Title Session Purpose
9.30-9.45 (15) Prof. Paul Jones (Swansea University)

Prof. Andrew Henley (ISBE President, (Cardiff University)

Introductions andWelcome. Introduction and overview to the day from Professor Paul Jones and welcome from ISBE President Professor Andrew Henley.
9.45-10.30 (45) Prof. Paul Jones (Swansea University)

Dr Tasos Kitsos (Aston University)

Dr Neha Prashar (Aston University)

Meeting your Doctorate peers. Network with your Doctoral community.
10.30-11.15 (45) Prof. Paul Jones (Swansea University) Achieving a Contribution in your Doctorate. The session explores the importance of achieving a contribution in your Doctorate and the forms that can take.
11.15-11.30 (15) COFFEE BREAK
11.30-12.15 (45) Dr Kelly Smith (Birmingham University) Become a great teacher post PhD This session considers the skills and aptitudes required to become an effective Entrepreneurship lecturer
12.15-1.00 (45) Prof. Monder Ram (Aston University) Practising Engaged Scholarship: The CREME Approach to Advancing Equality and Enterprise This talk highlights the work of the Centre for Research in Ethnic Minority Entrepreneurship (CREME) at Aston University, which aims to make diversity and enterprise everyone’s business. The talk will explain how CREME uses Engaged Scholarship, a method that links practice and theory through collaboration with various stakeholders, to address the challenges and opportunities faced by ethnic minority businesses in the UK. The lecture will also showcase some of the successful projects and initiatives that CREME has developed and implemented to advance equality and enterprise.
1.00-2.00 (40) LUNCH, Networking and poster session LUNCH plus students get to discuss their posters with fellow students and academics.
2.00-2.45 (45) Professor Stephen Roper Achieving Impact from my Doctorate. How can we translate our research results into influence and impact? This interactive session will explore the benefits of co-creating research topics with potential end-users and the importance of effective and targeted communication strategies
2.45-3.30 (45) Professor Susan Marlow Publishing my Doctorate: becoming an Entrepreneurship researcher. The session will give valuable insights into publishing your Doctorate and becoming an effective entrepreneurship researcher.
3.30-3.45 (15) COFFEE BREAK
3.45-4.45 (60) Professor Paul Jones (Chair)

Professor Susan Marlow

Dr Deema Refai

Professor Natalia Vershinina


Meet the Journal Editors. Representatives of Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice (Prof Susan Marlow), Entrepreneurship & Regional Development and Journal of Business Research. (Prof Natalia Vershinina), International Small Business Journal (Prof Susan Marlow), International Journal of Entrepreneurial Behaviour and Research and International Journal of Entrepreneurship and Innovation (Dr Deema Refai) The session will allow you to question current Journal editors regarding best practice in academic publishing within the entrepreneurship discipline.
4.45-5.00 Professor Paul Jones and Professor Andrew Henley Conclusion and Prize giving This session will conclude the day and award best poster presentations.

Speaker and Participant Biographies

Professor Andy Henley is Professor of Entrepreneurship and Economics at Cardiff Business School, Cardiff University, and was from 2016 to 2021 School Director of Research Impact and Engagement. Prior to this he held School Dean appointments at Aberystwyth and Swansea universities. He is currently the Wales lead for the UKRI/ESRC Productivity Institute. Much of Andy’s research focuses on questions of who chooses to become an entrepreneur, and why and where they choose to do so. He is particularly interested in applications of longitudinal data. His research also focuses on entrepreneurial leadership and small business growth. He has published over 60 papers in leading academic journals in entrepreneurship, economics and regional studies, as well as contributing to several recent edited books. He is an experienced advisor on policy and between 2002 and 2012 he was a member of the Welsh Government’s Economic Research Advisory Panel, advising the First Minister in Wales on economic research and development policy.

Paul Jones is Professor of Entrepreneurship and Innovation at Swansea University. Professor Jones has undertaken research in entrepreneurship and small business management, information technology and entrepreneurship education during his academic career to date. Prof. Jones is Editor-in-Chief of the International Journal of Entrepreneurial Behavior and Research, Senior Editor with Information Technology and People and Associate Editor of the International Journal of Management Education. He is also Series Editor of the Emerald Book Series Contemporary Issues in Entrepreneurship Research. He has to date, supervised 19 doctoral students to completion and examined over 60.

Dr Tasos Kitsos is a Lecturer in Economics at the Department of Economics, Finance and Entrepreneurship at Aston University and the lead for the Digital Economy and Innovation theme at the Centre for Business Prosperity. Dr Kitsos has previously held research posts in the University of Birmingham, Plymouth University, LSE and University of Macedonia. He has non-academic work experience in both the public and private sector.

Professor Susan Marlow is a nationally and internationally recognised scholar within the field of entrepreneurship having a particular expertise in the influence of gender and diversity upon entrepreneurial behaviour. Her research has been published in FT Top 50 US journals and other top-rated US and UK journals across a range of theoretical disciplines. On the basis of her reputation and expertise, she was awarded a Queen’s Enterprise Award, has been invited as a visiting academic to universities across the globe, delivered numerous keynote addresses at national and international events, contributed to television and media outlets, led a successful debating team at an Oxford Union and has a track record of extensive external and internal research funding. Professor Marlow’s research is actively integrated into her teaching where student and peer feedback are consistently excellent. Further to research and teaching activities, she contributes to her community of practice as a member of the Chartered Association of Business Schools editorial journal ranking group, is a Fellow of the UK Institute of Small Business and Entrepreneurship and member of the European Council for Small Business. Professor Marlow is also the UK Editor for Entrepreneurship, Theory and Practice, the top ranked journal in our field and FT top 50 indexed plus, Editor of the International Small Business Journal and acts as co-editor for two Routledge entrepreneurship book series and in 2021, was awarded the best paper prize for 2020 by the prestigious Human Relations Journal.

Dr Neha Prashar joined Aston University as Research Fellow for the Enterprise Research Centre in 2017 and was appointed as a Lecturer in Entrepreneurship at Aston Business School in 2022. She is currently working on projects related to programme and policy analysis in relation to productivity, SMEs, job creation and destruction. She has experience working with a number of non-academic institutions such as BEIS, Design council and Scottish Government.

Professor Monder Ram OBE DL is the Director of the Centre for Research in Ethnic Minority Entrepreneurship (CREME) at Aston University and a renowned expert on ethnic minority entrepreneurship. He has over 30 years of experience in this field, producing numerous publications and securing significant research grants from prestigious sources such as ESRC, NERC and Low Pay Commission. Professor Ram founded and leads CREME, a pioneering research centre that engages with diverse and marginalised communities. He is twice winner of the ESRC Impact prize for business (2017 and 2021), and his commitment to engaged scholarship has resulted in several practical research-based initiatives that have benefited diverse and overlooked communities. Professor Ram’s work influences policy and practice at national and regional levels. He advises the All Party Parliamentary Group for BAME Business Owners and serves as a member of the Ethnic Minority Business Group at the Department of Business and Trade. Prof. Ram has held visiting Professorships at Lund University and Turku University in Finland.

Deema Refai is an Associate Professor in Enterprise and Entrepreneurship at the University of Leeds. She is Joint Editor in Chief of The International Journal of Entrepreneurship and Innovation, and a member of Editorial Boards of leading international entrepreneurship journals. Deema’s  research focus is developed around constrained contexts, with main research focus on refugee and rural entrepreneurship. She has led/ co-led a number of research projects funded by the British Academy, AHRC and others. Building on her work – mainly in the UK and Jordan – Deema has developed strong international collaborations, and has been involved in various activities, panels and discussions around issues relevant to refugees. Her work has been published in international peer-reviewed journals and presented in a number of national and international conferences.

Stephen Roper is Professor of Enterprise at Warwick Business School, founding Director of the Enterprise Research Centre ( and Co-Director of the Innovation and Research Caucus (IRC). He is a co-investigator in the ESRC-funded Productivity Institute and is currently leading a major ESRC-funded project on workplace mental heath, wellbeing and productivity. As part of his work with ERC and IRC Stephen works closely with policy makers in a range of UK government departments and regularly acts as a consultant for the OECD and the World Bank on issues related to small business development and innovation policy. His current work focuses on firm level determinants of productivity, workplace mental health, well-being and productivity and the micro-geography of innovation. Stephen is an Academician of the Academy of Social Sciences and a Fellow of the RSA and ISBE.

Dr Kelly Smith is Associate Professor in Entrepreneurship and Deputy Director of Education at Birmingham Business School. She currently leads a first-year undergraduate module with over 400 students and is in the process of designing a new Masters-level module on Sustainable Entrepreneurship. Previously, Kelly was Course Director of two undergraduate Venture Creation Programmes at Coventry and Huddersfield. At Huddersfield, she was also the University’s Head of Enterprise, helping students and graduates explore self-employment and business and social enterprise start-up, advising on embedding enterprise into the subject-specific curriculum, and leading the ERDF-funded Graduate Entrepreneurship Project collaboration of Yorkshire universities. Kelly has a record of conference presentation and journal publications on a range of topics including the impact of entrepreneurial employability outcomes, engagement of graduates with business start-up, and enterprise skills training for postgraduate research students. Kelly has been Vice President for Education and Practitioner Learning for the Institute of Small Business and Entrepreneurship (ISBE) and is the current Co-Chair of ISBE’s Enterprise Education conference track. She has also been Chair of Enterprise Educators UK (EEUK) and was a member of the writing panel for the influential QAA guidance for enterprise and entrepreneurship education.

Natalia Vershinina is a Full Professor of Entrepreneurship, and Head of Research for Department of Entrepreneurship, Strategy and Innovation at Audencia Business School in Nantes, and previously worked for Leicester Business School, De Montfort University and Birmingham Business School, University of Birmingham in the UK. During her 22 years of work in the Academy, Natalia developed her research on entrepreneurship, family business, gender and ethnicity. She is also an Affiliated Researcher at IAE Paris Sorbonne, France and Affiliated Professor at CeFEO Jönköping University, Sweden. She is a VP for Research and Communities at Institute for Small business and Enterprise in the UK and an Associate Editor for three entrepreneurship journals: Entrepreneurship & Regional Development and International Journal for Entrepreneurial Behavior and Research, and Journal of Business Research.