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Endless Possibilities: What roles will universities play in new hybrid ways of creating inclusive entrepreneurship?

Venue: Online

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The international perspective of inclusive entrepreneurship underwent a significant shift from the real-world operations to digitalisation as the sector sought to overcome challenges and business disruption brought about by global lockdowns and subsequent restrictions. For those who were able to make this transition we have seen examples of alternative support mechanisms to ensure innovation and growth flourished within the virtual world. 

We ask, what are universities doing within this new space and change in direction? What has been learned from the challenges faced and what roles will they play in this new hybrid way of creating inclusive entrepreneurship? 

The debate will increase our understanding of this global shift and importantly add new perspectives on the role of universities and policy makers in supporting inclusive entrepreneurship going forward.


  • Jacqueline Winstanley – Universal Inclusion
  • Nigel Coates – Northumbria University
  • Thomas Cooney – Technological University Dublin (TU Dublin)
  • Jo-Ann Rolle, Dean of the School of Business at Medgar Evers College, City University of New York (CUNY)

Joint chairs, David Walsh, King’s, Jacqueline Winstanley, Universal Inclusion


Jacqueline Winstanley

Jacqueline is best described as a global humanitarian & innovator, with a deeply held and proven conviction to increasing equality of access to life’s opportunities through the creation of inclusive environments. She is a recognised international expert and consultant on inclusion and accessibility challenges.

A thought leader in the reduction of global inequalities, Jacqueline’s work is recognised as good practice in the UK and internationally. Over the years, she has built an audit trail in proof of concept and outcomes, most notably in Inclusive Economic Growth, Workforce Retention, Inclusive Entrepreneurship, Inclusive Play, Childcare, Parks and Open Spaces. She has influenced significant changes in government policy in the UK.

Jacqueline regularly presents at high level gatherings at the UN, in Windsor and Westminster. She is also an author, poet and regular contributor to national & international Advisory Boards, Good Practice Guidelines, White Papers & Select Committee evidence sessions. She has a number of roles within her business portfolio: Founder, Universal Inclusion & The Inclusive Entrepreneur; Secretariat to the All Party Parliamentary Group for Inclusive Entrepreneurship; Visiting Fellow for CIMR Birkbeck University; Shaw Trust Foundation Advisory Board Member; Power100 Judge; Rural Business Awards Judge; Women in Innovation Awards 2021, Panel Member; Former Trustee, DRUK Disability Rights UK; Chair, FILT (Foundation for Independent Living Trust); Chair, Ability Today; Co Chair, International Council of Caring Communities; Savvitas Special Envoy; Virgin Start Up Mentor; Diversity and Inclusion Lead at Rivington Terrace Gardens; Ambassador 50-50 Parliament; Ambassador Glamsticks; CEO Courage and Sparkle; New England Sports for Women Advisory Board Member.

Nigel Coates

Nigel Coates, Associate Professor / Director of the Business Clinic, Northumbria University, has worked in consumer and B2B for SMEs and a multi-national in marketing/commercial management roles. He has supervised three Knowledge Transfer Partnerships which supported businesses to make strategic changes. Nigel has undertaken consultancy work for a range of clients. He was involved in starting the Business Clinic in 2013 and has advised a number of universities on the establishment of business clinics. Nigel is a national judge for; Young Enterprise, Start-Up Programmes and the RSA Student Design Awards. He is Chair of the Board of Trustees for the Marketing Trust and a trustee/board member of Smile for Life Children’s Charity.  Nigel is also a governor / board member of Sir Charles Parsons School. 

The Business Clinic (BC) has been specifically designed to be all-inclusive. The experiential learning approach adopted drives change, both in the students’ learning and their understanding of how to overcome EDI barriers. The BC community is culturally diverse, with staff, students and clients from a range of backgrounds. International and widening participation students are particularly attracted to the BC as they often find it difficult to secure placements/internships. The BC provides an alternative enterprise/business experience.

Our work with an Asian business networking/membership organisation, (who connect, support and promote the Asian community), includes joint networking events and supporting Asian Entrepreneurs through consultancy projects; e.g. promoting ‘#InclusivityByDefault’ to NE employers. We co-host events in the Business Clinic to support inclusive entrepreneurship and improving EDI within organisation by facilitating collaborations.

Further recent student work includes supporting autistic entrepreneurs to establish their own business; a study into appropriate real world employment opportunities for young people with learning disabilities; improving equality and diversity in recruitment at a Fire and Rescue Service. One of our clients won as result of our consultancy report funding to produce a documentary film on enabling people with autism to succeed in employment. The BC is collaborating on the film with some of their client organisations who are enabling autistic people to realise their full potential. 

Thomas Cooney

Thomas is Professor of Entrepreneurship at the Technological University Dublin (Ireland), Academic Director of the Institute for Minority Entrepreneurship, is a Director of four businesses and works in a supportive capacity with a variety of organisations. As an expert in Entrepreneurship Policy, he has worked with the Irish Government, the European Commission, OECD, the European Training Foundation, and other international organisations. He has published widely on the topic of entrepreneurship and full details of his career can be found at

David Walsh

David is a highly successful and experienced CEO in the Technology Sector. After an early career in IBM in 1996 David founded Crimsonwing, an international software and services. Crimsonwing listed in 2008 and grew to a business of 500 staff across Europe. Crimsonwing PLC was subsequently acquired by KPMG in 2015 and David worked as Managing Director in KPMG International leading on digital transformation programmes for international clients.

David created a solution centre in Malta, helping to initiate Malta as an ICT European hub and which has since attracted over 400 IT related businesses. In 2010 David was awarded Malta Order of Merit by the President of Malta for services to the Maltese economy. David is Managing Partner of Flamefinch Partners LLP, Chairman of Supernotes (a leading collaborative learning solution), and Chairman of the Malta Business Network (UK). Past Chair roles include Thrive Partners (online coaching) and Level Global (AI for financial business processes).

David is King’s College London’s Entrepreneur in Residence - helping to advise and mentor 20 selected start-ups per year in the Accelerator at King’s Entrepreneurial Institute. David funds the David Walsh Awards at King’s to recognise personal growth, leadership and the development of team skills in entrepreneurship.

David was the winner of the Helen Hudson Award, King’s Alumni of the Year, 2020, and was awarded a Fellowship of King’s College in 2021

Jo-Ann Rolle

Dr. Jo-Ann Rolle holds a PhD. in Economics from Howard University. Dr. Rolle has served as the Dean of the School of Business at Medgar Evers College, City University of New York (CUNY) for the past eight years. Dean Rolle is an accomplished leader with a consistent history of success who served in the U.S. Government and I.B.M. before her academic career. She served as Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of a university; seven years as Chief Academic Officer (CAO); and eleven years as a Business School Dean at two universities. During her career, she launched two entrepreneurial Centers and many entrepreneurship programs. She has taught entrepreneurship and economic courses.

She is a business consultant with board experience. Dr. Rolle's awards include two Citations from Brooklyn, NY Borough President Eric Adams for Leadership & Community Service. She has been recognized as a Top 25 Influential African American Women in Business. She has delivered Keynote speeches and workshops to include the U.N. in N.Y.C. She is a Price-Babson Symposium for Entrepreneurship Educators fellow, Administrative Fellow, former Harvard University, Member of the Economic Club of New York, and Fellow of Centre for Business & Economic Research. She has several articles and publications on the topic of entrepreneurship and the future of work. Her forthcoming book publication includes diverse global scholars' research on, “Sustaining the Future of Work and Entrepreneurship for the Underserved."

Dr. Rolle is also a board member of Glasgow Caledonian New York College; Vice Chair of the Global Listening Board and is the President-Elect of the HBCU Business Deans Roundtable board.





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