Active engagement with the regional economy and practitioners

Institution: Hunter Centre for Entrepreneurship in Strathclyde Business School

Business School Lead: Professor Eleanor Shaw


Engagement with the regional economy has been at the University of Strathclyde’s core since its founding in 1796 when it was established as a “place of useful learning” by John Anderson, a leading figure of the Scottish Enlightenment. Anderson’s vision was for a place of learning which would operate “for the benefit of mankind”. This commitment is reflected within Strathclyde Business School where there is a firm belief in knowledge co-production and research excellence through active engagement with practitioners.

The Hunter Centre for Entrepreneurship (HCE) was founded in 2000 as an academic department in Strathclyde Business School (SBS) focused on entrepreneurship and new firm creation and growth. HCE’s mission is to provide excellent teaching that motivates and equips students to engage in entrepreneurial behaviours and to be influential in the development of best practices in entrepreneurship education; produce research of high academic quality that is influential and relevant to policy & practice; and engage in useful knowledge exchange with enterprises whereby best practices can be both shared with and informed by industry partners.

2015 saw the launch of the Growth Advantage Programme - the first continuing professional development programme for high growth entrepreneurial businesses, sponsored by Santander. Analysis of impact found that each participant company had achieved 20-30% growth in the six months after the programme. Currently recruiting the second cohort of entrepreneurs and it is envisaged that this highly successful SME growth programme will become a permanent fixture within Scotland’s entrepreneurial ecosystem.

Our research and knowledge exchange is applied and policy focused, with research clusters in enterprise policy, education and economic development; growing innovative global and international enterprises; social enterprise and philanthropy; and entrepreneurial households and family-owned businesses. These research clusters are supported by doctoral researchers and map over to inform teaching at all levels, influence policy, and encourage useful knowledge exchange with entrepreneurial partners. Our mission is supported by the co-location of key partners, including Entrepreneurial Scotland, within the Hunter Centre allowing daily contact and a true partnership to develop between Strathclyde Business School and key stakeholders in the local and regional economy.

Strathclyde’s success has resulted in a number of recent awards. The University of Strathclyde was named ‘THE University of the Year’ in 2012, ‘THE Entrepreneurial University of the Year’ in 2013 and Strathclyde Business School was awarded the Small Business Charter Award in 2015 and named 'THE Business School of the Year' in 2016.
Contact: Professor Eleanor Shaw, Head, Hunter Centre for Entrepreneurship & Vice Dean Enterprise & Knowledge Exchange;