Coventry University | Victoria Barker

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Victoria Barker

PHD student

Research Subject and Interests

My work explores the economic space between arts ecology and creative economy in the UK, focusing on cultural entrepreneurship and its contribution to economic and social impact. It is supported by Creative United, a Community Interest Company providing finance products and services to the creative and cultural sectors.

Over the past twenty years there has been a growing focus on the ‘creative industries’ and their economic contribution. Yet “arts and culture” have existed for a much longer period, with wider approaches to their value in the economy and to society. I am interested in the overlap and potential conflicts between and within these positions.

Currently, I am tracing ways in which arts and culture have been valued, and the social, political and economic drivers that have affected this. My fieldwork is likely to explore the journey of creative and cultural businesses in this value context, and in a challenging financial environment.

Additional interests in the creative and cultural sector:

  • The role and distribution of intermediaries.
  • Ethical and responsible business.
  • Social impact.

Director of Studies: Dr Nick Henry (Centre for Business in Society)

Supervisory team: Mary-Alice Stack (CEO, Creative United) and Dr Pete McLuskie (Coventry University Institute for Creative Enterprise).


Victoria joined Coventry University’s Centre for Business in Society in January 2015 after achieving an MA with distinction in Creative and Media Enterprises (University of Warwick, 2013) and working as a freelance researcher and summer Mountain Leader. This followed eight years in the public sector as a programme manager and research coordinator. 

Her wider interests include the environment and sustainability, local and community initiatives, landscape and natural heritage. 

Selected Projects

Research breakout image

PHD student