Sustainable Ecosystems for Women Entrepreneurs, Hybrid Event, 15 December 2021, 9.30am – 4.30pm




Making impact whilst researching: A chance to debate and discuss the role of academic researchers in business support for women.

About this event

Please click here to register.

This event is available to either attend in person at the University of Portsmouth, or attend online via zoom. Please select the relevant ticket at checkout.

Debate and discuss the role of academic research(ers) in business support for women and the entrepreneurial ecosystem more generally – and consider how to bridge the gaps between researcher, practitioner and policy maker.

We welcome key notes from Dr Rhannion Pugh, Lund University and Prof Julia Rouse, Head of the Sylvia Pankhurst Gender Research Centre and the opportunity to hear from Prof Karen Johnston University of Portsmouth who with University of Essex have, explored ecosystems for disadvantaged entrepreneurs as part of the ERDF funded project Accelerating Women’s Enterprise (AWE). The afternoon offers active discussion and creative problem solving for academics focused on enhancing entrepreneurial ecosystems for women with case stories from our guest entrepreneurs and ecosystem stakeholders – SaS and MNC.

Traditionally there is a divide between pure research/academic scholarship and policy and practice. Based upon the myriad experiences of researchers in the room, this event aims to explore ways to break down these divides. Specifically, we will be discussing how you can talk to power, engage in activist scholarship (Rouse and Woolnough, 2019), turn research into practice (Van de Ven, 2007); and bridge gaps between researchers, practitioners and policy makers.

Dr Rhannion Pugh, Lund University

Dr Pugh’s research interests include: regional economic development; economic geographies of weaker, post-industrial and peripheral regions; the roles of universities in regional development; gender perspectives within economic geography.

She is currently working on a three year project funded by the research agency FORMAS studying innovation policy in the far northern peripheries of Sweden and Scotland. This project aims to explore the barriers and opportunities to enhance sustainable and inclusive economic development through innovation in peripheral areas, and also to enhance our understanding of such regions within economic geography.

Prof Julia Rouse, Head of the Sylvia Pankhurst Gender Research Centre

Julia is Co-Head of the Sylvia Pankhurst Gender Research Centre in Manchester Metropolitan University’s Faculty of Business and Law.

With a lively group of colleagues, Julia has formed the Generating Routes for Women’s Leadership (GROWL) project – This summarises evidence on barriers that block women’s progression into six ‘Enquiry Tools’ to help organisations to diagnose the cause of their gender pay gap and wider gender inequalities. It works with them, via a network and ideas bank, to develop change. Julia is currently supporting transformational mentoring programmes for women, BAME leaders and female students and writing a review of evidence on women’s mentoring programmes to support businesses and researchers.

As founder and Vice-Chair of the Gender and Enterprise Network (GEN), an international community of more than 800 international stakeholders interested in advancing and employing scholarship on women’s enterprise and the gendering of small enterprise, Julia is committed to developing the international women’s enterprise research community.

Prof Karen Johnston University of Portsmouth

Karen is a Professor of Organisational Studies at the University of Portsmouth, who also leads Portsmouth Business School’s submission to the Research Excellence Framework.

Her research focus is on public administration and management. Within this, her specific interests are in public governance and gender representation. She has an interested in improving the understanding of barriers and enablers to female representation, progression and influence on the gender equality policy agenda and public debate.


9.30 -10.00: Register/Refreshments

10.00 – 10.15: Introduction to aims and objectives of the day, the AWE Project and book launch

10.15 – 10.45: Dr Rhiannon Pugh , How universities are addressing entrepreneurship challenges for women

10.45 – 11.15: Prof Julia Rouse, Engaged Activist Scholarship: Understanding how entrepreneurship researchers can enhance impacts for women entrepreneurs

11.15 – 11.45: Panel Q&A

11.45 – 12.00: Coffee Break

12.00 – 12.30: Prof Karen Johnston, Accelerating Women’s Enterprise: French and English Ecosystems for disadvantaged women entrepreneurs

12.30 – 1.30: Lunch

1.30 – 1.40: Welcome back and planning for sustainable ecosystems

1.40 – 2.00: Case Study: SaS – early startup entrepreneur

2.00 – 2.15: Breakout to consider sustainable solutions

2.15 – 2.30: Case Study: MNC – My Networking Club: Ecosystem Stakeholder

2.30 – 2.45: Breakout to consider sustainable solutions

2.45 – 3.00: Tea Break

3.00 – 3.10: Dr Zoe Dann, Creating Sustainable Impact with Research – A way forward?

3.10 – 3.30: Breakout to consider resolution

3.30 – 3.55: Plenary and Panel Discussion

3.55 – 4.00: Close

For further information and to register please click here.


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