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Engaged scholarship: addressing regional inequalities in innovation opportunities for BAME and disabled entrepreneurs


This study has adopted an 'engaged scholarship' approach to issues of regional equality, diversity and inclusion (EDI) in entrepreneurship and innovation.

It follows on from previous research which sought to identify the support available in the UK for Black, Asian and Minority ethnic (BAME) entrepreneurs and innovators. The previous project found that EDI policy and intervention are hampered by lack of evidence on the extent of networks which support BAME and disabled entrepreneurs, their geography and how location facilitates or impedes ability to function.

The results of this study both provide evidence on the locations, function and operation of specialist support networks and engage with the participants in the research to add further value to the project. This also translates into a series of policy recommendations.



  • Professor Helen Lawton Smith, Department of Management, Birkbeck, University of London
  • Dina Mansour, Department of Management, Birkbeck, University of London
  • Ayse Seyyide Kaptaner, Department of Management, Birkbeck, University of London

Research Aims

Research to date has achieved an extensive understanding of the geography of networks that support BAME and Disabled entrepreneurs and has positioned the analysis within the context of UK and international policy agenda and action. Its importance has been recognised by such policy bodies as the All Party Parliamentary group for Inclusive Entrepreneurship, the Cabinet Office Disability Unit and the British Business Bank.

This page will enable the findings to reach broad audiences and enable further engagement with practitioners and policy makers who have responsibilities for organising support for BAME and Disabled entrepreneurs.



  • Lawton Smith, H. Invited presentation, Disability and Enterprise, Launch of the Disability Resilience Network, 29 November 2021.
  • Lawton Smith, H. Provocation, Disabled entrepreneurs: challenges in creating more opportunities, National Enterprise Network Annual Conference, 26 November 2021.

A focus on networks, entrepreneurs and academic research: Hear their insights