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Entrepreneurship scholarship amongst nascent entrepreneurs

“Scholars don’t know about entrepreneurship; entrepreneurs do”. Exploring the deeper perceptions, ideologies and resistances to using entrepreneurship scholarship amongst nascent entrepreneurs.

Entrepreneurs do not often engage with or use entrepreneurship scholarship. This is despite research finding that engaged entrepreneurship scholarship can result in potential improvements for the entrepreneur and their business. This implies there are gaps between the (scholarship) activities undertaken by entrepreneurship academics and the relevance of that research for non-academic communities.

Notwithstanding the growth in awareness of, and dialogue on, the relevance of entrepreneurship scholarship beyond the academy, a pressing knowledge gap persists therefore. That is, what negative perspectives and perceptions exist of entrepreneurship scholars and scholarship that inform non-engagement? Indeed without considering this aspect, understanding and knowledge of the concepts of relevance and impact, their measurement and meaning remains limited. Thus, investigation of the resistance – is it ideological or practical? – to engaging across the academic boundary, requires exploration.

We intend to unpack controversial dialogue such as “scholars don’t know about entrepreneurship” to better understand and close the gap between what scholars’ research and what practice deems relevant and valuable.

We propose to do this in a novel methodological way, working in partnership with start up incubators, using a longitudinal critical reflection approach that will access the perceptions, perspectives, and deeper reflections of two communities involved in the production and use of research in the entrepreneurship field.

Through co-creation with incubator leadership, nascent entrepreneurs and entrepreneurship scholars, the project will contribute to discussions on relevance in entrepreneurship scholarship and practice and make sense of the importance, meaning and value of these concepts for theory and practice.


Kapasi, I. and Rosli, A. (2020) 'The practice of "we": A framework for balancing rigour and relevance in entrepreneurship scholarship'. Journal of Business Venturing Insights, Volume 14, November 2020, e00202. pp. 1 - 8. ISSN: 2352-6734

Meet the Principal Investigator(s) for the project

Professor Ainurul Rosli
Professor Ainurul Rosli - I am a Team Coach and an Entrepreneurial Mindset Practitioner (EMP). I am an avid believer in the importance of university-industry-community interaction. I am part of Team Academy (Tiimiakatemia, Finland), a global team-learning community that aims to equip young adults with the skills, knowledge and personal qualities required to run their own businesses while pursuing a degree. I specialise in entrepreneurship, inter-firm collaboration, innovation strategy and knowledge exchange. This enables me to be part of fantastic organisations and projects that embrace collaboration and co-creation to support their innovative community engagement initiatives. Prior to joining Brunel, I was a co-Director for MSc Entrepreneurship, Innovation and Enterprise Development at the University of Westminster. I also had worked in University of Wolverhampton and Birkbeck University of London, where I gained my PhD in 2013.  I have an MSc in Operational Research from London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE), and a Bachelor in Financial Engineering (Hons) from Multimedia University, Malaysia. My previous professional experience includes various entrepreneurship, strategy and innovation consulting work in London and abroad. I also have worked for several years with the R&D arm of a telecommunication company in Malaysia. I have secured major grants from Quintin Hogg Trust, European Life Long Learning Programme, British Academy of Management and British Academy/Leverhulme to name a few. I also have won several competitive awards including a grant by the Malaysian government towards my PhD research; Ronald Coase Institute Fellowship and Dynamics of Institutions and Markets (DIME) Fellowship to name a few. My work with my colleagues has won the Best Innovation paper awards at British Academy Management (BAM) 2015. 

Related Research Group(s)


Entrepreneurship and Sustainability - Our focus is on how individuals, businesses and societies can tap into creative and entrepreneurial flair to develop innovative solutions, in order to not only create economic value, but also solve social and environmental problems.

Partnering with confidence

Organisations interested in our research can partner with us with confidence backed by an external and independent benchmark: The Knowledge Exchange Framework. Read more.

Project last modified 05/08/2021