RAKE Fund 2019 Call for applications

The Institute for Small Business and Entrepreneurship Research and Knowledge Exchange Fund (RAKE)

Exploring New Frontiers and Entrepreneurial places

Electronic application forms and FAQ’s can be downloaded here. Please submit applications in MSWord format – not as a PDF file. 

The Institute for Small Business and Entrepreneurship (ISBE) Research and Knowledge Exchange (RAKE) fund is an initiative supported by, and administered through, ISBE.  This initiative aims to encourage and support research activities from academics, third sector organisations, consultants and practitioners with the ambition of drawing together and generating an entrepreneurial community of practice to facilitate knowledge exchange and transfer. 

Collaborative bids are invited which draw together any combination of third sector organisations, academic researchers, consultants and practitioners. The Principal Investigator must be employed within a UK institution but may be partnered with an international team – indeed this is encouraged. Research teams which demonstrate capacity building through collaborations between experienced and early career academics will be favourably considered; applications which demonstrate ‘in-kind’ contributions from partner organisations are welcomed as are those jointly funded from other sources.  Applications presented as pilot studies, with the aim of generating future funding from other sources, are encouraged.  The RAKE funding this year encourages applications that explore how we continueto advance and build a critical scholarly community of practice which is committed to theproduction and promotion of knowledge that is useful to academic and practitioner communities which makes a difference. This fusion of research and practice has the potential to be pioneering and a distinguishing feature and bridging the gap between research, practice and impact which advance the field of Entrepreneurship and Small and Medium businesses. 

The current interest in Exploring New Frontiers and Entrepreneurial placesand its application to small firms has brought to the surface a range of important questions for scholars, policy makers and practitioners. As a consequence, there is a growing need to cultivate; 

  1. Innovative research approaches which address questions about New Frontiers and Entrepreneurial placesthat make a difference to a range of stakeholder communities 
  • In an environment of momentous change, both in the UK and the wider global stage what are the new challenges we face for Small business growth in the context of entrepreneurial places
  • Should Small business research be concerned with marrying the divergent world of academics, policy makers and small firms? 

By newfrontiers and entrepreneurial places,we mean different forms of research which encompass collaborative inquiry in which academics and practitioners leverage their different perspectives and competencies to co-produce knowledge which redefine entrepreneurial spaces, literally and metaphorically to 

  • Strengthen commitment to Enterprise and Innovation through impactful research that raises entrepreneurial aspirations
  • Showcases innovative and fast-growing New Economy industries where knowledge is the key to business growth and sustainability
  • Inspires the creation of globally connected innovative communities

The increasing emphasis on academics evidencing, in meaningful and purposeful way, (measurable), the value and contribution of their work to public and private domains, requires the development of a new set of values for academic work where engagement is now considered to be the singular method of impact articulation and the means by which applied knowledge is mobilised.  We welcome submissions that develop conceptual perspectives and/or present rigorous empirical studies that advance the theory and practice of research which explores new frontiers and entrepreneurial placesand its application to small firms.  Examples are welcomed from policy or community networks, business support, entrepreneurial learning and educational. We are also open to submissions from colleagues working across disciplines, weencourage contributions that take an interdisciplinary approach to explore research on new frontiers and entrepreneurial places, but are not limited to, any of the following topics:

  • Philosophical and political context of collaboration in a disparate world 
  • Relevance of our current research approaches as a means of developing meaningful knowledge for practitioners / policy makers
  • Noveltheoreticaland/ormethodologicalapproachesto studying new frontiers and entrepreneurial placesthrough practice perspectives
  • Research that unlocks and illuminates new types of innovative and dynamic entrepreneurial leadership needed for unlocking entrepreneurial ambitions across business, support agencies and higher education

All proposals must clearly demonstrate and describe relevance to the notion of knowledge transfer and exchange related to the context of the bid.  

For this round of funding, we envisage awarding up to two grants of around £5,000 each.  These will not support full economic costing given ISBE’s position as a registered charity. Applications for smaller, seed corn funds would not be discounted however; we will not consider bids which:

  1. Exceed £5,000
  2. Exceed 1200 words in total (including references/notes/tables/appendices)
  3. Appear to be funding PhD students 
  4. Are skewed towards funding conference attendance and travel.

Successful grant holders will be required to fulfil the following conditions: 

  • To be in membership of ISBE for the duration of the award
  • To present their work at the annual ISBE conference
  • To host one event which disseminates the findings of the research 
  • To produce one blog for the ISBE website at the end of the award 
  • To produce a satisfactory end of award report within three months of the completion of the research
  • To recognise the ISBE RAKE fund in any presentations or publications arising from an award 
  • To report to the RAKE fund management board to discuss research progress 

Further details on the aims and constitution of the ISBE RAKE fund, along with examples of previous successful projects, can be found at https://www.isbe.org.uk/resources/rake-fund/

The closing date for applications is 5p.m. Friday, October the 25th 2019. Late submissions will not be considered under any circumstances. 

Notifications of awards will be given at the ISBE conference in November 2019. We suggest the earliest starting date for research projects should be 1stDecember 2019. Completed applications may be returned electronically to the ISBE office at 

Electronic application forms and FAQ’s can be downloaded here. Please submit applications in MSWord format – not as a PDF file. 

Applicants may contact the following ISBE board members and staff for informal discussions regarding their bids and/or the aims of RAKE: 

Professor Kiran Trehan VP: Research ISBE: RAKE Fund Manager. 

Rob Edwards  


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