Entrepreneurial University of the Year
In 2012, the University was proud to receive the Times Higher Entrepreneurial University of the Year Award for its “entrepreneurial outlook championed at the highest levels of the institution”. The innovative research carried out by the Business School has resulted in regional and national impact in the field of entrepreneurship and enterprise.
Delivering local and national impact
This research has made possible the award-winning delivery of business start-up and growth support programmes across Yorkshire and the Humber, contributing to the regional economy through the creation of new businesses and jobs. It has also influenced national policy on entrepreneurship and enterprise education for undergraduates, graduates and postgraduate research students across the UK.
Identifying potential entrepreneurs
Professor John Thompson began Huddersfield’s work in this area by highlighting how entrepreneurs are found in all walks of life and affect organisations of all types and sizes. This research, carried out in collaboration with Dr Bill Bolton, led to the creation of the Entrepreneur FACETS Framework and the Bolton Thompson Entrepreneur Indicator, two internationally recognised tools that help with identifying potential entrepreneurs and entrepreneurial enablers.
Building on this work, Thompson devised a framework that matches enablers with would-be entrepreneurs, and demonstrated that policymakers needed to recognise how important the contribution of enablers could be to potential entrepreneurs and start-up businesses.
Entrepreneurship on a global scale
The FACETS framework has been refined through international data collection, with Thompson and Bolton’s most recent work concluding that certain attributes do characterise individuals as having the most potential to become outstanding entrepreneurs.
Applying this research to Higher Education
Dr Kelly Smith joined the University in 2008 as Head of Enterprise and became a Principal Enterprise Fellow in 2013. Her work concentrates on embedding enterprise education in curricula beyond business schools and setting up support systems for academics new to the topic.
She has examined the barriers to and enablers of graduate business start-ups, and highlights how the activities of a university can be key in providing support along the entrepreneurial journey from initial idea to start-up stage.
Linking entrepreneurship research to industry
Dr David Higgins (Senior Lecturer in Leadership and Management from 2009) has built upon the important link between research and industry by looking at learning practices in small firms and their link to growth and innovation within the business.
He has indicated that learning through practice, with its focus on real-world issues and lived experiences, can provide a more successful means of developing practitioner-focused owners and managers than formal instruction alone.