Professor Eleanor Shaw

Associate Principal

Hunter Centre for Entrepreneurship

Personal statement


Hi, my name is Eleanor Shaw and I am Professor of Entrepreneurship and Head of the Hunter Centre for Entrepreneurship. I joined the University in 2001 originally with the Department of Marketing before joining the HCE in 2012 and becoming Head in 2013. I gained my doctorate from the University of Glasgow in 1997. This research examined the use of networks in the growth of small creative firms and, over the years, I have built upon this research interest to explore the role of both financial and non-financial capital in the setting up and growing of small and medium sized firms (SMEs). Before joining Strathclyde I worked at Durham University Business School where I was Director of their Masters in Entrepreneurship Programme.

In my position as Head of the Hunter Centre for Entrepreneurship (HCE), my job is to lead the strategic direction of the HCE and to work with my colleagues to ensure that our research about entrepreneurship, enterprise, innovation and creativity is relevant to the learning experiences for our students; has impact and relevance for entrepreneurial organisations and can be used to inform the development of policies supportive of a more entrepreneurial society.

Complimenting my research and teaching responsibilities, I sit on Foundation Scotland’s Impact and Innovation Committee, I am a director of a Newcastle-based consultancy firm and I hold a Research Associate position with the New Zealand Centre for Social Innovation at Massey University. I am passionate about engaging in research which can generate broader societal benefits and, as an engaged researcher, I am committed to providing evidence based research and the design and delivery of high impact learning experiences for learners at all levels including undergraduates, doctoral researchers and executive and business owner clients.


Has expertise in:

    I am an experienced entrepreneurship researcher and educator having worked in higher education for circa 25 years. I have worked with all types of clients including undergraduate students, post graduate taught and research students; doctoral researchers and small and medium sized firms at all stages: nascent, developing and growing.


Prizes and awards

Best overall conference paper
Best paper in track (Social, Ethical, and Environmental)
Entrepreneurial Embedding: case study evidence from the creative industries
Emerald Literati Network Ourstanding Paper Award

more prizes and awards


How can social enterprises impact health and wellbeing?
Gordon Katy, Wilson Juliette, Tonner Andrea, Shaw Eleanor
International Journal of Entrepreneurial Behaviour and Research Vol 24, pp. 697-713 (2018)
The role of socially driven community food projects in a networked approach to tackling food insecurity
Gordon K, Wilson J, Tonner A, Shaw E
British Sociological Association Annual Conference 2018 (2018)
Defying contextual embeddedness : evidence from displaced women entrepreneurs in Jordan
Al-Dajani Haya, Akbar Hammad, Carter Sara, Shaw Eleanor
Entrepreneurship & Regional Development, pp. 1-29 (2018)
'We need to survive' : Integrating social enterprises within community food initiatives
Tonner Andrea, Wilson Juliette, Gordon Katy, Shaw Eleanor
5th British Sociological Association Food and Society Conference (2017)
Social entrepreneurship orientation : development of a measurement scale
Kraus Sascha, Halbertstadt Jantje, Niemand Thomas, Shaw Eleanor, Syrja Pasi
International Journal of Entrepreneurial Behaviour and Research, pp. 1-34 (2017)
The endogenous construction of entrepreneurial contexts : a practice-based perspective
Chalmers Dominic M, Shaw Eleanor
International Small Business Journal Vol 35, pp. 19-39 (2017)

more publications


I am passionate about working with students to help them realise their entrepreneurial potential. I enjoy teaching entrepreneurial marketing which offers an alternative view on how small, entrepreneurial firms can engage with their customers often by initially discovering an innovation or product or service improvement. I lead the final year class on Issues and Trends in Entrepreneurship which explores key changes in the environment and discusses with students the implications of these for entrepreneurial firms. I also teach on various research methods classes particularly advising on qualitative methodologies and the design and analysis of case studies.

Research interests

My research interests lie in the area of entrepreneurial capital, creative industries, entrepreneurial diversity and firm growth. I am interested in engaged research which is of value to teaching, engagement with small and entrepreneurial firms and relevant to informing the development of economic and social policy in the areas of enterprise, innovation and creativity. Most recently I have been researching entrepreneurial philanthropy: the active redistributin of wealth by entrepreneurs for socially and environmentally motivated purposes.

Professional activities

Invited keynote talk
How to create an entrepreneurial university
Invited speaker
Scottish Government (External organisation)
Royal Society of Arts (External organisation)
Carnegie Trust for the Universities of Scotland (External organisation)
Institue for Smal; Business and Entrepreneurship

more professional activities


Entrepreneurship Masterclass: Creating and Maintaining Competitive Advantage
Shaw, Eleanor (Principal Investigator) Ates, Aylin (Academic)
Creating and sustaining a competitive advantage has become increasingly difficult in an ever-changing and dynamic environment. Businesses need to be adept at strategic thinking and strategic analysis and find ways to enhance impact, value and performance. This Masterclass taught approximately 25 business owners and entrepreneurs the tools and techniques to stay ahead of the game.
20-Jan-2019 - 21-Jan-2019
CDT Innovation & Entrepreneurship (HIE)
Shaw, Eleanor (Principal Investigator)
01-Jan-2018 - 31-Jan-2020
Researching and Modelling Growth - North Ayrshire Council
Drakopoulou Dodd, Sarah (Principal Investigator) Kesidou, Eleni (Post Grad Student) Shaw, Eleanor (Co-investigator)
This top-up funding for the Synergy Project, will result in a detailed and feasible strategic model, proposing the optimum path to ACM’s goals, including core activities, resources required, key recommended partnerships, staged steps to achieving this goals, and the scale of each such step.

The project will lead to a novel combination of (social enterprise) services, by facilitating the partner company in the development of an implementable and feasible template for their growth, permitting ACM to plan, source funding, co-ordinate resources, and grow in an effective and novel fashion. ACM aims to make a substantive and measurable impact on North Ayrshire’s long-term socio-economic deprivation, by creating jobs, enhancing digital and craft skills (and hence employability), and supporting the development of other creative and social entrepreneurship.

Without a detailed and rigorous analysis of actual demand for these planned services, such impact cannot be maximised, nor can the optimum market-facing constellation of services be calculated.
23-Jan-2015 - 29-Jan-2015
Centre for Charitable Giving & Philanthropy
Shaw, Eleanor (Principal Investigator) Gordon, Jillian (Co-investigator)
23-Jan-2008 - 22-Jan-2013

more projects


Hunter Centre for Entrepreneurship
Cathedral Wing

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