Photo of Nicholas Theodorakopoulos
20002020

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Personal profile

Contact Details

Telephone: +44 (0) 121 204 3000

Email: n.theodorakopoulos@aston.ac.uk

Biography

I am Full Professor of Entrepreneurship Development at Aston Business School and have been a member of the School’s Senior Management Team in my capacities as Associate Dean (International) and Head of Work and Organisation Department. Prior to these roles, I was Academic Deputy Director of the Goldman Sachs ‘10,000 Small Businesses’ programme at Aston. My specialist areas of teaching, research and industry engagement include strategic entrepreneurship, learning & development, change management & innovation, and diversity & inclusion. I have received financial support from various bodies, including European Commission, Economic & Social Research Council, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, Leicestershire Learning and Skills Council, Centre for Enterprise, and UK Trade and Investment to examine entrepreneurship in different contexts and deliver impact. Apart from contributing to a number of books and special issues as an editor, my research papers have won prizes in international conferences and have been published in highly reputable academic journals, including British Journal of Management, Human Resource Management, Public Administration, Work, Employment and Society, International Small Business Journal and Technovation. My experience and engagement with industry spans across the private, public and third sectors, in the UK and abroad. 

Research Interests

Specialist areas of research and funding relate to strategic entrepreneurship, entrepreneurial learning & development, change management & innovation, diverse entrepreneurship, and diversity & inclusion.

Teaching Activity

At both undergraduate and postgraduate levels in the UK, France, Malaysia and Singapore

Postgraduate

MBA - Entrepreneurship & Innovation 
MSc - Entrepreneurship for the World -
          Strategy, Change and Leadership 
          International Strategic Management, Markets and Resources 
DMS - Strategic Management

Undergraduate (BA Business Studies; BA Business & Management):

Year 1- Business in Context (comprising principles of HRM, Marketing & Operations) – year 1
Year 2- International Perspectives in Organisations 
            Management and Strategy, year 2
Year 3- Managing Small & Medium Sized Enterprises (SMEs) 
           Strategic Aspects of Organisational Performance
           Strategic Management 
           Contemporary Business Issues


With regard to executive development, I have designed, developed and delivered management development courses to a diverse array of organisations in the private and public sectors, such as the Russian Space Agency in Moscow and small firms in various programmes in England.
Moreover, I have acted as a consultant to a host of organisations in the private and public sectors on issues relating to strategic development and performance management.

Qualifications

  • 2008 PhD in Strategic Entrepreneurship, De Montfort University, UK 
     Award winning project – partially sponsored by the Centre for Enterprise (CfE) 

  • 1997 Master in Business Administration (MBA), University of Leicester, UK 

  • 1996  BSc in Business Administration, The American College of Greece

Employment

Professor of Entrepreneurship Development

Aston Business School, Aston University, Birmingham, UK

Funding Applications and Awards

ESIF award – Full Project Value: £1,094,437- Funding to Aston: 547,218, Academic Lead

‘Diverse Supply Chains’ (Nov 2019 – Oct 2022)

This three-year engagement project involves the delivery of workshops on becoming supplier to large organisations and provision of vouchers to build the capacity of 75 diverse SMEs in the LEP area of Greater Birmingham and Solihull in the West Midlands region.  The project is theory-driven, with high impact potential and is delivered with colleagues from Aston Business School, Birmingham City Business School, as well as with industry partners, such as Balfour Beatty Vinci, Birmingham City Council, Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games, High Speed 2 and NatWest.

 

Horizon 2020 awardFull Project Value: €696,215 – Funding to Aston: €334,136, Co-investigator Diversity Innovation Support Scheme for SMEs’(Oct 2019 – Sep 2022)

This research-driven project is aimed at building the capacity of 300 SMEs to engage a diverse workforce in their innovation activities. It is delivered with colleagues from Aston Business School and GB Chambers of Commerce in the UK and colleagues from Bergische Universitat Wuppertal in Germany.

 

ESIF award – Full project Value: £1,606,542 – Funding to Aston: £624,684, Academic Lead 

‘Innovation Vouchers, Phase 3’

Enhancing SME competitiveness through Innovation’ (Jul 2019 – Jun 2022)

Building on the success of its predecessor, this three-year engagement project involves the delivery of workshops on managing innovation and provision of innovation vouchers to build the innovation capacity of 100 SMEs in the LEP area of Greater Birmingham and Solihull in the West Midlands region.  The project is theory-driven, with high potential for impact and is delivered in collaboration with colleagues from Aston Business School and Birmingham City University.

 

ERDF award – Full project Value: £2,251,749 – Funding to Aston: £853,416, Academic Lead 

‘Innovation Vouchers, Phase 2’

Enhancing SME competitiveness through Innovation’ (Jul 2016 – Jun 2019)

This three-year engagement project involves the delivery of workshops on managing innovation and provision of innovation vouchers to build the innovation capacity of 190 SMEs in LEP areas of the West Midlands region.  This project is undertaken collaboratively with colleagues from Aston Business School and BCU.  It is theory-driven, with high potential for impact. Currently under independent evaluation. An impact case study based on the Innovation Vouchers programme, rated internally as 4, will be submitted to the forthcoming REF.

 

ERDF award – Full Project Value/Funding to Aston: £450,183, Academic Lead

‘Innovation Vouchers’

Enhancing SME competitiveness through Innovation’ (Oct 2013 – Jun 2015)

This project involved the delivery of workshops on managing innovation and provision of innovation vouchers to build the innovation capacity of SMEs in the West Midlands. It was delivered with colleagues from Aston Business School.

 

Department for Business, Innovation & Skills – £74,980,Principal Investigator

‘Sociology of Enterprise: Growth Disposition’ (May 2014 – Jun 2015)

The project examined the factors that shape small business owner-managers’ growth disposition, using social theory. The project aimed at influencing entrepreneurship development policy and was delivered with colleagues from Aston University and the University of Durham.

 

ESRC award ES/J001538/1 - £83,150, Principal Investigator

‘An Online Assessment and Development Tool for Business Incubators: Measuring to Improve Business Incubation Management Skills, Performance and Impact’(Jan 2012 – Mar 2013)

This project developed an online assessment and benchmarking tool for UKBI and its members, i.e. business incubation management practitioners and stakeholders concerned with evaluating business incubation.

 

ESRC award ES/J001538/1 - £83,150, Principal Investigator
Business incubation related, follow-on, one year project (2012 – 2013). 

An Online Assessment and Development Tool for Business Incubators: Measuring to Improve Business Incubation Management Skills, Performance and Impact

This project constitutes a collaborative venture with UKBI, the professional body of business incubation management in the UK.  It aims to provide proof-of-concept for an online tool, which assesses the competencies of business incubation management, as well as the performance and impact of business incubators, longitudinally.  By engaging an array of stakeholders concerned with business incubation, the tool will serve as a catalyst for nurturing a community of incubation management practitioners, which will be using it to align itself to best practice.  Beyond influencing business incubation management practice, the tool is expected to have an impact on policy-making and future research in this field.


ESRC award RES-185-31-0060 - £98,500, Co-Investigator

Facilitating Supplier Diversity: A Collaborative Approach to Engaging Underrepresented Suppliers and Large Firms, with Prof. M. Ram

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