Skip to main content

LUBS Centre for Enterprise and Entrepreneurship Studies Scholarship - Exploring aspects of social-purpose businesses


Coronavirus information for applicants and offer holders

We hope that by the time you’re ready to start your studies with us the situation with COVID-19 will have eased. However, please be aware, we will continue to review our courses and other elements of the student experience in response to COVID-19 and we may need to adapt our provision to ensure students remain safe. For the most up-to-date information on COVID-19, regularly visit our website, which we will continue to update as the situation changes

Key facts

Sunday 28 November 2021
Funding start date
Tuesday 1 February 2022
Number of funding places
Country eligibility
UK only
Source of funding
University of Leeds
Key staff
Professor Diane Holt
<h2 class="heading hide-accessible">Summary</h2>

Interested in for-purpose enterprises such as social enterprises, hybrids or B Corporations or the social innovations they engage with?<br /> <br /> Applicants are invited to submit proposals for a fully funded (at UK fees level) PhD focused on one or more of these types of organisations. The specific research topic to be addressed should be described in the submitted proposal along with a short literature overview that supports the proposed research aims and objectives, alongside the proposed methodology. Full details of the scope of the proposal and key requirements are available in the detailed description.<br /> <br /> The selected candidate will receive a maintenance grant and full UK fees scholarship. The PhD will be hosted by the Centre for Enterprise and Entrepreneurship Studies (CEES) at Leeds University Business School (LUBS) and supervised by Professor Diane Holt and staff from CEES.

<h2 class="heading hide-accessible"Full description</h2>

<p>In April 22nd 1970 20 million Americans attended the first Earth Day. By 1990, Earth was engaging with 200 million people in 141 countries. Pivotal events such as this, the 1972 U.N. Conference on the Human Environment in Sweden, &nbsp;and the 1992 U.N. Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro amongst others, signal the start of modern-day concern about environmental issues, and latterly social ones; encompassed today in the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and their 169 sustainability targets for 2030. As social and environmental issues have mainstreamed into society (Barkemeyer et al. 2009, 2014) we are increasingly seeing businesses positioned not only as the &lsquo;problem&rsquo; but also as a potential solution; with the recognition of the role that economic activities might play to exacerbate, ameliorate or respond to these issues.&nbsp;</p> <p>Thus, across the world we have seen the emergence of various types of enterprises that are focused on using their business activities to address acute social and/or environmental issues. This vibrant and rapidly expanding landscape of socially-oriented businesses includes social business models (after Yunis et al. 2010), non-profit social enterprises (Kay et al. 2016), hybrid businesses mixing profit with mission (Doherty et al. 2014; Holt &amp; Littlewood, 2015) and the associated creative social innovations emerging to reimagine markets, products and services (Tracey &amp; Stott, 2017; Steinfield &amp; Holt, 2020). We have also seen some firms reimaging themselves into what we are now describing &nbsp;(and certifying) as B-Corporations (Kim et al. 2016); a new legal form of business that considers the impact of their decisions on their employees, suppliers, customers, local community, and the natural environment. Some firms have also increased their engagement with corporate social responsibility. (CSR) practices. However, this PhD opportunity is not aimed at topics associated with CSR.</p> <p>Whilst research on social-purpose business has increased over the last two decades this remains an embryonic field. The definitional boundary conditions between such enterprises are also contested especially when considered in different geographies and institutional contexts (e.g. Rivera Santos et al. 2015) leading to the wider discourse on hybrid firms (e.g. Holt and Littlewood, 2015)&nbsp;</p> <p>The topics that might be covered in this PhD are fairly broad. Key requirements for the proposal from the applicant are that:<br /> o&nbsp;&nbsp; &nbsp;the research focuses on at least one &lsquo;type&rsquo; of for-purpose business or the entrepreneurs within such businesses;<br /> o&nbsp;&nbsp; &nbsp;it can focus on one or more geographical locations, but it must go beyond description to make a significant and original contribution to knowledge and theory;<br /> o&nbsp;&nbsp; &nbsp;it can adopt a qualitative or mixed-mode methodology but cannot only use secondary data, be purely quantitative or purely conceptual; and&nbsp;<br /> o&nbsp;&nbsp; &nbsp;the setting within social-purpose business must be an essential part of the research focus rather than incidental.</p> <p>Within this research setting topics can also cover aspects such as supply chain management, business incubation, impact assessment, engagement with the informal economy, the role of personal values, policy/practice initiatives that support such businesses, and comparative analysis set across sectors and/or geographies. The research can also take a historical perspective looking at these kinds of business in the 19th or 20th Century, or explore only those that started up in the 21st.</p> <p>However, the main focus of the research questions proposed in the application are at the discretion of the applicant as long as the research proposal meets the overall key requirements as outlined above.</p> <p>The proposal should detail the research aims and objectives, a short literature overview supporting the research focus, a proposed methodology and be no more than 5 pages in length.&nbsp;</p> <p>References:<br /> Barkemeyer, R., Figge, F., Hahn, T. and Holt, D. (2009), What the papers say &ndash; trends in sustainability, Journal Corporate Citizenship, 33, 69-86.&nbsp;<br /> Doherty, B., Haugh, H. and Lyon, F., (2014). Social enterprises as hybrid organizations. International Journal of Management Reviews,16(4), 417-436.&nbsp;<br /> Holt, D and Littlewood, D (2015). Identifying, Mapping and Monitoring the Impact of Hybrid Firms. California Management Review 57(3), pp. 107-125&nbsp;<br /> Holt, D. and Littlewood, D. (2015). The informal economy as a route to market in sub-Saharan Africa &ndash; observations amongst Kenyan informal economy entrepreneurs In S. Nwanko and K. &nbsp;Ibeh (Eds.) The Routledge Companion to Business in Africa, Routledge 978-0-415-63545-5 pp. 198-217.<br /> Kay A., Roy M.J. and Donaldson C (2016) Re-Imagining Social Enterprise. Social Enterprise Journal12(2).&nbsp;<br /> Kim, S., Karlesky, M.J., Myers, C.G. and Schifeling, T., (2016). Why companies are becoming B corporations. Harvard Business Review, 17.&nbsp;<br /> Littlewood, D. and Holt, D. (2018) Social Entrepreneurship in South Africa: Exploring the Influence of Environment, Business and Society Vol. 57(3) 525&ndash; 561&nbsp;<br /> Littlewood, D.C. and Holt, D. (2019). How social enterprises can contribute to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) &ndash; A conceptual framework. In: Apostolopoulos, N., Al-Dajani, H., Holt, D., Jones, P. and Newbery, R., (eds.) Entrepreneurship and the Sustainable Development Goals. Emerald. ISBN: 978-1-78756-376-6. Pp.33-46<br /> Rivera-Santos, M., Holt, D., Littlewood, D. and Kolk, A. (2015). Social Entrepreneurship in sub-Saharan Africa. &nbsp;Academy of Management Perspectives. 29(1), 72-91&nbsp;<br /> Steinfield, L and Holt, D. (2019) Toward a Theory on the Reproduction of Social Innovations in Subsistence Marketplaces. Journal of Product Innovation Management, 36(6), 764&ndash;799<br /> &nbsp;Tracey, P. and Stott, N., 2017. Social innovation: a window on alternative ways of organizing and innovating. Innovation, 19(1), 51-60.&nbsp;<br /> Yunus, M., Moingeon, B. and Lehmann-Ortega, L., (2010). Building social business models. Long Range Planning, 43(2-3), 308-325.</p> <h3>Information about the Award</h3> <ul> <li>This competition is open to Home Fees applicants only.&nbsp;One scholarship&nbsp;will be awarded<em>.</em></li> </ul> <h4>Duration of the Award</h4> <ul> <li> <p>Full-time (3 years). The award will be made for one year in the first instance and renewable for a further period of up to two years, subject to satisfactory academic progress;</p> </li> </ul> <h4>Funding</h4> <ul> <li> <p>Full fees at the University of Leeds standard Home Fees rate.</p> </li> <li> <p>A maintenance grant at the standard UKRI rate (&pound;15,609&nbsp;in&nbsp;Session 2021/22).</p> </li> </ul> <h4>Other Conditions</h4> <ul> <li>The award&nbsp;is&nbsp;available for new Postgraduate Researchers undertaking full-time&nbsp;research study leading to the degree of PhD.</li> <li>Students who have already been awarded a PhD are excluded from applying.</li> <li>Home fees students who are already registered for PhD study at another UK institution are eligible to apply but they cannot use work previously completed toward their University of Leeds degree.</li> <li>The award&nbsp;must be taken up by 1<sup>st</sup>&nbsp;February&nbsp;2022.</li> </ul>

<h2 class="heading hide-accessible">Faculty information</h2>

<h3>Information about&nbsp;Leeds University Business School (LUBS)</h3> <p>For the second year running, Leeds University Business School is number one in the UK for Accounting and Finance, and top 10 across all subject areas, according to the Guardian University Guide 2021.</p> <p>We are a leading, full-service business school, regularly world ranked by the Financial Times, QS and The Economist, and one of a small number of schools worldwide to be triple accredited by AACSB, AMBA and EQUIS. We deliver undergraduate, masters, MBA, PhD, executive and professional education and online study, to over 3000 students from around 100 countries.&nbsp;<br /> &nbsp;<br /> We are a top ten business and management research institution, according to the 2014 Research Excellence Framework (REF). The School is one of the leading higher education institutions in the UK, ranked in the top 100 universities in the world (QS rankings 2020) and a member of the prestigious Russell Group of research-intensive UK universities.&nbsp;<br /> &nbsp;<br /> LUBS is a single-school Faculty of the University of Leeds, with annual income of &pound;74.5m and some 425 staff across six Divisions. Our mission is to make an exceptional impact on business and society globally through leadership in research and teaching.</p>

<h2 class="heading">How to apply</h2>

<p><strong>Stage 1</strong>&nbsp;- Apply for a place of research&nbsp;study in the&nbsp;<a href="">Leeds University Business School</a>&nbsp;by completing the online&nbsp;<a href="">application form</a>.&nbsp; Please include a research proposal that relates to social-purpose business. You will be expected to meet our&nbsp;<a href="" target="_blank">eligibility criteria</a>&nbsp;for PhD candidates, including the English language requirements if your first language is not English.&nbsp;</p> <p>Once you have received your&nbsp;student ID number&nbsp;<em>(a 9 digit number)</em>&nbsp;move onto Stage 2.&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>Stage 2</strong>&nbsp;- Apply for the LUBS Centre for Enterprise and Entrepreneurship Studies Scholarship by completing the online&nbsp;<a href="">application form</a>&nbsp;by Wednesday 28<sup>th</sup>&nbsp;November&nbsp;2021.</p> <p>If English is not your first language, you must provide evidence that you meet the&nbsp;<a href="">Faculty&#39;s minimum English language requirements</a>&nbsp;(below).</p> <p><em>We welcome applications from all suitably-qualified candidates, but UK Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) researchers are currently under-represented in our Postgraduate Research community, and we would therefore particularly encourage applications from UK BAME candidates. All scholarships will be awarded on the basis of merit.</em></p>

<h2 class="heading heading--sm">Entry requirements</h2>

Candidates should ideally have a first-class or at least a good upper second-class undergraduate degree. In addition, they should hold, or expecting to obtain, a British Masters degree with a Merit or above, or an equivalent degree from an overseas university, or an equivalent professional qualification:<br /> <br /> * with a minimum average score of 60 percent (or equivalent); and<br /> * in an appropriate academic discipline. <br /> <br /> You should also meet our English language requirements (detailed below).

<h2 class="heading heading--sm">English language requirements</h2>

The minimum English language entry requirement for research postgraduate research study is an IELTS of 7.0 overall with at least 6.0 in each component (reading, writing, listening and speaking) or equivalent. The test must be dated within two years of the start date of the course in order to be valid. Some schools and faculties have a higher requirement.

<h2 class="heading">Contact details</h2>

<p>For further information please contact the Graduate School Office<br /> e: <a href=""></a></p>