EntrepreneurshipSocial & environmental entrepreneurship

At their heart, both entrepreneurship and innovation are about creating and delivering new forms of value to consumers. Whilst the focus has traditionally been on maximizing cost-effectiveness, there is a growing emphasis on doing so whilst also being sensitive to the delivery of social and/or environmental value – often referred to as a ‘triple bottom line’.



Abdullah Gok & Roseline Antai

Dr Abdullah Gok and Dr Roseline Antai are currently developing a research programme on social innovation, with a particular interest in how social innovation emerges and how established firms engage in social innovation. He has recently been awarded two large-scale EU H2020 grants (KNOWMAK and RISIS 2), as the PI, with which he is developing the European Social Innovation Database (ESID) using text mining publicly available information on the web. This comprehensive database aims to form the definitive source of information for social innovation in Europe.

Matthew Hannon & Iain Cairns

Dr Matthew Hannon’s and Dr Iain Cairns’ research has explored the development of ‘triple-bottom-line’ energy business models that generate economic, social and environmental value. Through their work on the UK Energy Research Centre’s Community Energy Finance project, they have explored the value proposition of community energy business models and the wider market and policy conditions necessary to support their proliferation. Through this work, they developed four in-depth community energy finance case studies.

Matthew Hannon

As Co-Investigator, Dr Matthew Hannon’s work on the UKRI £10m funded EnergyREV consortium has explored how combining smart technology with localised energy solutions can generate wider economic, social and environmental value. In particular, his recent work has characterised the types of smart local energy businesses operating in the UK and investigated the social equity implications of smart, local energy projects.

Katerina Nicolopoulou

Katerina Nicolopoulou’s work explores several inter-disciplinary frameworks for Socially Progressive Entrepreneurship and Innovation for over 15 years. She is leading four co-industrially funded PhD studentships, with a focus on Nigeria, Egypt and Thailand, which explore socially progressive frameworks for entrepreneurship programmes addressing youth, women, entrepreneurship education and employee retention in social enterprises, respectively.

She is also leading the Global Socially Progressive Entrepreneurship and Innovation Research Group, which encompasses socially sensitive ways to develop entrepreneurship and innovation in different Global contexts. The Group shares close links to the existing University strategic sub-theme of Socially Progressive Innovation & Entrepreneurship, which she is also co-leading. She is also one of the academic mentors for the Doctoral Training Centre in Socially Progressive Innovation & Entrepreneurship. She has also edited research volumes (Routledge) and special issues (IJEBR) showcasing evidence-based research in Sustainable Entrepreneurship.

Sreevas Sahasranamam

Sreevas Sahasranamam’s research focuses on entrepreneurship/innovation in emerging and bottom-of-the-pyramid markets. He leads the multidisciplinary doctoral training centre on Socially Progressive Innovation and Entrepreneurship at Strathclyde, exploring the role of emerging technologies like machine learning, solar microgrids, blockchain and satellite imaging for social impact. Supported by Scottish Funding Council Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF) pump priming grant, Sreevas currently leads a project exploring the development of a micro-entrepreneurship business model for water access in bottom of the pyramid contexts.

Eleanor Shaw

Professor Eleanor Shaw undertook one of the earliest studies of social entrepreneurs in the UK. Funded by Barclays, the research sought to identify 100 social entrepreneurs and to compare and contrast the entrepreneurial practises in which they engaged with those on entrepreneurs not working in the social economy.

Her study found that social entrepreneurs exhibit high levels of motivation to address, challenge and find solutions to social problems and that they are deeply embedded within the context and communities in which they and their ventures are operating. Purpose was identified as a strong driving force for social entrepreneurs.

Given severely restricted resources, this study also found that social entrepreneurs engage in high levels of bricolage and exhibit innovative behaviours and solutions to often pressing and enduring social and community problems. The study concluded that much could be learnt about entrepreneurial practices and behaviours through the study of social entrepreneurs and social ventures.

Veselina Stoyanova

Veselina Stoyanova has also researched and published works in the field of sustainability in emerging markets in particular looking at the evolution of sustainability in SMEs in the wine industry in Bulgaria and the role sustainable practices have on companies’ competitiveness.

Nigel Lockett

More recently, Nigel Lockett has been engaged in research projects related to environmental entrepreneurship – most noticeably with:

  • GCRF (2017-21 RECIRCULATE: Driving eco innovation in Africa: capacity building for a safe circular water economy - £6,800,000)
  • NERC (2016-17 DTP and CDT ‘added value activities in innovation :Stimulating Entrepreneurial Thinking for Scientists (SETS) Programme - £69,000).