University of Hertfordshire

Dr Christopher Brown FHEA, FRSA, MIKT, MIE, MIAM

Christopher Brown

Dr Christopher Brown FHEA, FRSA, MIKT, MIE, MIAM

Postal address:
University of Hertfordshire, Hatfield, Hertfordshire
United Kingdom

Expertise

Commercial and public engagement

Having come into the public sector from working in a variety of industries (Oil & Gas, Advanced Manufacturing, Transportation, Defense and Shipbuilding) I have a particular perspective on the importance of business support and engagement.  I bring this commitment to my endeavours in both the undergraduate and postgraduate programmes, and to my research.

In the postgraduate programmes I teach on, there is an action learning approach to enhancing the student experiential learning journey through active business engagement. Students at both UG and PG levels have the opportunity to work with Small & Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) leaders, and benefit from their experiences and practices.  Equally in my research on micro and small enterprise, and particularly on small enterprise owner-managers I look for opportunities to use their insights to further enhance my academic/practitioner knowledge, understanding and learning.

The outputs from the combination of these two activities are both academic and practitioner articles that explore the challenges and issues facing these enterprises, and are presented at academic and practitioner conferences and through academic/practitioner journals.

 

Research interests

My work at the University of Hertfordshire affords me the opportunity to work both the entrepreneurial owner-managed enterprises searching for support and advice to grow, and with the support agencies like Hertfordshire Local Enterprise Partnership and Hertfordshire Growth Hub.  The last four years has seen me deliver four research studies with the Hertfordshire LEP on skills gaps across the seven key sectors in Hertfordshire, and its impact on Small- to Medium-size Enterprises in increasing revenue, growth and improved productivity.

 

Within the Hertfordshire Business School I have been a core leader in business engagement programmes providing market opportunity identification and strategy formation for micro-and small businesses.  My mentoring and leadership on national Knowledge Transfer partnerships and regional knowledge transfer programmes have seen me assist and coach small businesses in developing growth strategies.  In all of these activities the entrepreneur owner-manager has received and used this to develop their leadership and management skills and so improve the sustainability and improved productivity of their transformative business model.

That entrepreneurs and entrepreneurial traits and attributes are present in a small minority of the UK’s population?

 

Entrepreneurship is a spirit that is strong and active within 20% of working age UK individuals, and are actively engaged in some type of entrepreneurial activity, and/or are already intending to start-up enterprises within the next three years.  Some of the entrepreneurial spirit has been stimulated by the fact we live in exciting and challenging times where new technologies and innovations are changing the way that we live our lives as workers, citizens and consumers.  The UK is a special open enterprising economy, built on invention, innovation and competition.  Our research institutions and other academic research bodies are among the best in the World.

 

The rapid increase in entrepreneurialism since the UK’s economic crash of 2008 has seen a rapid boost in enterprise creation, and this is expected to have a huge impact on labour productivity growth.  So these new entrepreneurs who set up new enterprises can challenge the market incumbents, driving down costs and incentivising the creation of better products and services.  Importantly these new opportunistic entrepreneurs allow new ideas to be tested on a small-scale and brought to the Agri-supply chain and thus into the marketplace, driving further innovation and long-term farmer business model sustainability.