Dr. Kelly Smith

Senior Lecturer

Course Director for BA Enterprise and Entrepreneurship

Course Director for MA Enterprise and Entrepreneurship Education

International Centre for Transformational Entrepreneurship 
Faculty of Business and Law

Email: aa7645@coventry.ac.uk
LinkedIn Profile 
Follow me on Twitter: @kellyjs

Academic interests

  • Enterprise and entrepreneurship education – pedagogy, design, effectiveness within national contexts, student motivations, measurement of entrepreneurial intent
  • Barriers and enables to student and graduate business start-up
  • Use of learning technologies
  • Impact of enterprise education and entrepreneurial support on actual business start-up
  • Effect of national policy and government support systems on business start-up and growth


I have worked in further and higher education for over 20 years, first as a lecturer in cognitive psychology and statistics for psychology research, then as a learning technologist for medical education. For the past 15 years, I have been heavily involved in enterprise education and student and graduate entrepreneurship support. Before moving to Coventry, I was Head of Enterprise and a Principle Enterprise Fellow at the University of Huddersfield, responsible for the Enterprise Team business start-up unit, and Course Leader of the BA Enterprise Development new venture creation degree. I was heavily involved with several ERDF-funded start-up and growth programmes and led the Yorkshire-wide and award-winning Graduate Entrepreneurship Project.

In July 2016, I moved to Coventry as Senior Lecturer and Course Director for the BA Enterprise and Entrepreneurship, and a new full MA in Enterprise and Entrepreneurship Education building on the NCEE’s successful International Entrepreneurship Education Programme.

I am a past-Chair and Life Fellow of Enterprise Educators UK (EEUK), and the current Vice President for Education / Conference Enterprise Education Track Co-Chair for the Institute for Small Business and Entrepreneurship (ISBE). I’m a co-author of the 2012 QAA Guidelines for Enterprise and Entrepreneurship Education in Higher Education, and the 2014 APPG for Microbusiness report on An Education System Fit for an Entrepreneur. I am a Visiting Professor at the University of Wales Trinity St David’s International Institute of Creative Entrepreneurial Development, and a fellow of the RSA and the HEA.


  • PhD in Cognitive Science (Psychology), University of Birmingham, 1998
  • MSc in Cognitive Science, University of Birmingham, 1993
  • BSc (Hons) Psychology, University of Birmingham, 1992
  • PGCE in Teaching and Learning in Higher Education, University of Birmingham, 1999


My current research interests include barriers and enablers to student and graduate business start-up and entrepreneurship, the impact of enterprise education and entrepreneurship support, and the use of learning and emerging technologies. Having moved to Coventry University, I’m also exploring entrepreneurship in Sub-Saharan Africa, particularly with respect to issues around policy, support, and training for nascent and early-stage start-up.

Outputs and Publications 

  • Smith, K. (2015). Measuring the impact of enterprise education and entrepreneurship support in higher education: Can routinely collected data be of use? Industry & Higher Education, 29(6), pp. 493-503.
  • Smith, K., Williams, D., Yasin, N., and Pitchford I. (2014). Enterprise skills and training needs of postgraduate research students. Education + Training, 56(8/9), pp. 745-763.
  • Higgins, D., Smith, K., and Mirza, M. (2013). Entrepreneurial education: reflexive approaches to entrepreneurial learning in practice. Journal of Entrepreneurship, 22(2), pp. 135-160.
  • Smith, K. and Beasley, M. (2011). Graduate Entrepreneurs: Intentions, Barriers & Solutions. Education + Trainin, 53(8/9), pp. 722-740.
  • McKeown, J., Millman, C., Reddy Sursani, S., Smith, K., and Martin, L. (2006). Graduate entrepreneurship education in the United Kingdom. Education + Training, 48(8/9), pp. 597-613.

Dr Kelly Smith


  • BA Enterprise and Entrepreneurship  
  • MA Enterprise and Entrepreneurship Education
  • PhD supervision 

Areas of expertise

  • Enterprise education
  • Student and graduate entrepreneurship
  • Business start-up and growth
  • Policy and practice in enterprise and entrepreneurship education
 Queen’s Award for Enterprise Logo
University of the year shortlisted
QS Five Star Rating 2023