Kelly Smith

Dr., Dr


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Kelly Smith is currently Associate Professor (Teaching Focussed) in Entrepreneurship in the Department of Management at Birmingham Business School, University of Birmingham.

Kelly lectures and leads modules in in entrepreneurship and small business growth. She is the current Academic Lead for the Business Management Year in Industry, and School Senior Tutor.

Before her move to Birmingham, Kelly was Course Director of BA Enterprise and Entrepreneurship at Coventry University, one of a very small number of undergraduate-level new venture creation programmes in the UK. She lectured, face-to-face and online, on topics such as personal and entrepreneurial development, hi-tech entrepreneurship, and social media for business.

Previously, Kelly was Head of Enterprise and a Principle Enterprise Fellow at the University of Huddersfield.  Kelly managed the University’s Enterprise Team, helping students and graduates explore self-employment and business and social enterprise start-up. She also led the Graduate Entrepreneurship Project – an ERDF-funded collaboration of Yorkshire and the Humber’s 10 universities. Alongside her work on business start-up support, Kelly was a Business School-based academic with a research specialism in enterprise and entrepreneurship education. She was also Course Director for the University’s BA in Enterprise Development new venture creation degree. Prior to her move to Huddersfield, Kelly was Project Manager of the West-Midlands wide DTI-funded Technology Enhanced Enterprise Education (TE3) initiative based at the University of Birmingham.

Kelly was a Trustee and Vice President for Education and Practitioner Learning for the Institute of Small Business and Entrepreneurship (ISBE) until November 2019. She is the current Co-Chair of ISBE's Enterprise Education conference track, and a was founding Co-Chair of the joint ISBE/EEUK Research in Enterprise Education Community of Interest. Kelly has also been a Board Member and Chair of Enterprise Educators UK (EEUK), the national network of enterprise and entrepreneurship educators in Higher Education. She is both a Fellow and an Honorary Life Fellow of EEUK, and is a member of the Advocacy and Impact through Policy and Research Committee, and Advisory Council.

Kelly has a strong interest in the use of learning technologies and social media to support enterprise education and early stage business start-up. She has a record of conference presentation and journal publications on a range of topics including student entrepreneurial intent, the impact of enterprise education and and entrepreneurship support, engagement of graduates with business start-up, and enterprise skills training for postgraduate research students.

Kelly was a member of the writing panel for the influential QAA guidance for enterprise and entrepreneurship education (2012 and 2018), and the All Party Parliamentary Group for Microbusiness report - An Education System Fit for an Entrepreneur (2014).

Research interests

  • Impact of enterprise and entrepreneurship education
  • Student entrepreneurial intent
  • Venture creation programmes

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 8 - Decent Work and Economic Growth

Education/Academic qualification

Doctor of Science

Award Date: 1 Aug 1998

Master in Science

Award Date: 1 Nov 1993

Bachelor of Science

Award Date: 1 Aug 1992


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