Civil society and entrepreneurial ecosystems:the case of Citizens UK and Birmingham's microbusinesses

Lead Research Organisation: Aston University
Department Name: Aston Business School


I will be conducting an action research study with the Centre for Research in Ethnic Minority Entrepreneurship (CREME), based at Aston University, and Citizens UK Birmingham (CUK). The project will investigate the role that civil society can play in facilitating a more inclusive business support environment (or 'ecosystem') in Birmingham.
The main research questions that I will be attempting to answer are four: (1) What is the role of civil society in developing inclusive entrepreneurial ecosystems? (2) How can CUK be supported to engage in this agenda? (3) How can the social (as well as economic) contribution of migrant businesses be assessed? (4) What institutional arrangements are required to ensure that migrant entrepreneurs are integrated into the 'mainstream' business support system?
The study will be interventionist in nature and will be undertaken in collaboration with CUK. I will work closely with CUK Birmingham as well as the supervisory team at CREME. An interdisciplinary approach to action research will be employed because of its capacity to produce sound explanations of social reality, and its practical utility in helping the Collaborating Organisation to promote meaningful change. The intervention will support CUK Birmingham in its plans to provide business support to entrepreneurs in the some of the most deprived areas of the City. By establishing 'what works and how' in relation to the role of civil society in supporting microbusinesses, it is anticipated that the results will be generalizable to other similar contexts.


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Studentship Projects

Project Reference Relationship Related To Start End Student Name
ES/P000711/1 01/10/2017 30/09/2027
2268897 Studentship ES/P000711/1 23/09/2019 30/09/2023 Muhammad Abdul AZIZ