CIMR Research in Focus 6: Entrepreneurship at CIMR

The Centre for Innovation Management Research plays a key role in the teaching of entrepreneurship and innovation at Birkbeck.

Our research-informed teaching provides a theoretical underpinning for aspiring entrepreneurs and our PhD students explore critical questions in the field, such as Ayse Kaptaner’s research into refugee entrepreneurship, Dina Mansour’s research into institutional entrepreneurship in Egypt, and Doyin Olorunfemi’s study of entrepreneurial learning.

Just as important as the theory is industry-informed expertise. Many students apply for our programmes with a business idea in mind, such as Alexander Flint Mitchell, who moved from City lawyer to start-up CEO during his time with us.

Reflecting on his experience, Alexander credited both the relevance of the modules and the expertise of guest speakers and mentors invited onto the programme, such as the entrepreneur Stephen Sykes, who coached Alexander as he grew his business idea and has since joined the company as Commercial Director.

As our alumni community grows, so does the network of expertise available to new students. In April and November 2020, CIMR PhD student Doyin Olorunfemi and alumna and Innovation Strategy Consultant Melina Padayachy organised virtual events to help students make the most of their MSc course. The events welcomed industry professionals, alumni and academic members of the CIMR and helped students develop an action plan for their one or two years with us.

As the external landscape constantly evolves, we engage with government, industry and our students to ensure that our entrepreneurship teaching meets the needs of the future workforce. We’re always delighted to hear of the successes of current and former students and look forward to seeing what they will do next.