Oxford Brookes researching disabled entrepreneurs and innovators

Oxford Brookes University campus

Oxford Brookes University is involved in a new Innovate UK funded research project into the barriers to innovation and enterprise faced by disabled people.

The research will inform a report commissioned by the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Inclusive Entrepreneurship (APPGIE) chaired by Dr Lisa Cameron MP. The findings will be reported in mid-2023 and provide recommendations for parliamentary policy to support growth in the sector as well as a practical guide for disabled people in business. 

Professor Tim Vorley, Pro Vice-Chancellor and Dean of Oxford Brookes Business School leads the Innovation Caucus, which is funded by Innovate UK and the Economic and Social Research Council. Tim and the Innovation Caucus team will be working with the Centre for Innovation Management (CIMR) at Birkbeck at the University of London and Universal Inclusion. Universal Inclusion is a social impact organisation that develops and implements comprehensive and inclusive solutions to barriers that prevent access to life’s opportunities. 

Professor Helen Lawton Smith, at CIMR who is leading the study, said: “This study will provide much-needed data on barriers to people with disabilities becoming innovative entrepreneurs. Previous studies have made a start but for effective policy-making much more evidence is needed on how the experience of being entrepreneurial is affected by where people live and work.”

Professor Tim Vorley of Oxford Brookes Business School said: “The Innovation Caucus has been working with Innovate UK on a number of projects looking at the importance of promoting the diversity of innovators in the UK.

“This project builds on our previous work undertaken in 2019 by the Innovation Caucus on

Supporting Diversity and Inclusion in Innovation. I am delighted to be supporting Helen as an Innovation Caucus member and to be working with the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Inclusive Entrepreneurship on this exciting and important piece of work.”

The research team are seeking involvement from disabled entrepreneurs across the UK to ensure the findings and recommendations accurately reflect the lived experience of disabled people. For further information and to contribute to the research initiative please contact the APPGIE Secretariat via APPGIE@universalinclusion.co.uk