I hold a BA and MA in Sports Development and Management from Liverpool John Moores University and an MBA from Staffordshire University. After leaving university the first time I started my own business managing procurement and export processes for companies across Europe who buy goods from the UK. After growing for a number of years, we created another business in Europe to fully take advantage of our network and offer a better service to our clients. I decided to complete an MBA at Staffs Uni to develop myself as a company director, my dissertation project was about barriers to small business growth and this made me think more about my local business community and how I could make a worthwhile contribution. When I saw the opportunity to work at Keele University in a research and innovation support programme, I applied, and am thrilled to have been working for this programme since 2016. My role of Research and Innovation Advisor with the Smart Innovation Hub involves delivering bespoke R&D collaboration between the university and our local SME community, with the express aim of introducing new products, processes and services into the UK market. I am proud of the work we do with our client companies and this role made me question how people from areas of deprivation engage with innovation, which is the basis of my research.

Research and scholarship

Working title: An Empirical Study of SME Innovation and Entrepreneurial Sensemaking in areas of Deprivation. My research aims to investigate how individuals from areas of deprivation make sense of and engage with innovative business ideas and to contribute to the current understanding of the explanatory factors for innovation in areas of deprivation. Additionally, to give policy recommendations about innovation support more relevant to the socio-cultural barriers faced by individuals in deprived areas, I will be using Stoke on Trent as an example of a multiply deprived post-industrial city.

Awards: Enterprise Educators UK Fellowship (2020). Grant Awards: Innovate UK, The Sustainable Innovation Fund: SBRI Phase 1 (2020). Events Attended: Entrepreneurship Academy, Liverpool University, NARTI event (2009) ISBE Doctoral Day - Academic Poster Presentation and Workshop. Northumbria University (2009) IEEC2020: Enterprise Educators UK's Annual conference (2020)