You are here

  1. Home
  2. Dr Sara Calvo Martinez

Dr Sara Calvo Martinez

Profile summary

Professional biography

Dr. Sara Calvo (PhD) is a Senior Lecturer in Entrepreneurship at the Department of Public Leadership & Social Enterprise, where she brings academic experience from posts held in the UK and Spain. Prior to joining the Open University, she was a Senior Lecturer at Middlesex University. She  is a certified Social Enterprise Business Consultant and a certified Coach by the International Coaching Federation. She is the co-founder of the social enterprise, Minca Ventures, an organization that works to create impact and sustainability projects where they carry out consulting, coaching and training work. She is also the founder of the Buen Vivir Institute, a social enterprise company that offers online education courses and coaching services for people and organisations. Creator of the Buen Vivir method, she has developed the self-knowledge program called 'Build your Good Living'.

Research interests

Dr Sara Calvo research interests include entrepreneurship, sustainability, social enterprise and third sector organisation, video research, educational technology, impact evaluation methods and social innovation. Some of the topics she is currently researching are: circular economy; faith based social enterprises in Africa; methods for the evaluation of sustainable business related MOOS; social innovation processes in the Global North and South. Her research has been funded by the British Council and the Newton Fund. 

Teaching interests

Dr Sara Calvo teaching interests centre around the areas of entrepreneurship and sustainability. In the past she has taught undergraduate and postgraduate modules on leadership and management, international development, Human Resources, Entrepreneurship and Social Enterprises. 


Impact and engagement

She has travelled to more than 40 countries y visited more than 200 social enterprises across the globe. She has worked as a consultant and advisor with more than 100 sustainable organizations and social enterprises in around 40 countries in Africa, Asia, Europe and Latin America. 

Since 2016, she is the coordinator of five educational programs at FutureLearn on social entrepreneurship, upcycling and social innovation with which she has had more than 100,000 students from 180 countries. She has published numerous books and articles in high impact magazines as well as she has created a YouTube channel (Impact Story Channel) where she shares information about agents of social change and sustainable projects and social innovation. 

She organizes workshops and conferences to support social entrepreneurship, sustainability, and people's development. More information: and 

External collaborations

She collaborates with the following research network:

EMES (International Research Network);

GEM (Global Entrepreneurship Network);


Qualitative analysis on the driving force behind upcycling practices associated with mobile applications: Circular economy perspective (2022-12)
Martín Martín, José María; Calvo Martínez, Sara; Guaita Martínez, José Manuel and Ribeiro Soriano, Domingo Enrique
Operations Management Research, 15 (pp. 647-661)

Exploring what motivates the development of upcycling practices. (2022)
Martín Martín, José María; Ruiz Martos, María José; Morales Pachón, Andrés and Calvo Martínez, Sara
Ecological Questions, 33(4) (pp. 1-23)

Influence of Inappropriate Basic Sanitation and Lack of Access to Drinking Water in the Community Development of Azama, Otavalo Canton (2022)
Pérez, Laura Pamela; Castanho, Rui Alexandre; Calvo Martinez, Sara and Morales Pachón, Andrés
WSEAS Transactions on Environment and Development, 18 (pp. 461-480)

Indigenous worldviews and inclusive education: insights into participatory video and the practice of Buen Vivir of the Misak community (2022)
Morales, Andrés and Calvo, Sara
International Journal of Inclusive Education ((Early Access))

Unpacking B Corps’ Impact on Sustainable Development: An Analysis from Structuration Theory (2021)
Tabares, Sabrina; Morales, Andrés; Calvo, Sara and Molina Moreno, Valentín
Sustainability, 13(23) (p 13408)

Hybrid forms of business: Understanding the development of indigenous social entrepreneurship practices (2021)
Morales, Andrés; Calvo, Sara; Guaita Martínez, José Manuel and Martín Martín, José María
Journal of Business Research, 124 (pp. 212-222)

The political institutionalization of the social economy in Ecuador: Indigeneity and institutional logics (2020-03-01)
Calvo, Sara; Syrett, Stephen and Morales, Andrés
Environment and Planning C: Politics and Space, 38(2) (pp. 269-289)

Academic Literacy and Student Diversity: Evaluating a Curriculum-Integrated Inclusive Practice Intervention in the United Kingdom (2020-02-06)
Calvo, Sara; Celini, Luciano; Morales, Andrés; Martínez, José Manuel Guaita and Núñez-Cacho Utrilla, Pedro
Sustainability, 12, Article 1155(3)

Educating at Scale for Sustainable Development and Social Enterprise Growth: The Impact of Online Learning and a Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) (2020)
Calvo, Sara; Lyon, Fergus; Morales, Andrés and Wade, Jeremy
Sustainability, 12, Article 3247(8)

Addressing Sustainable Social Change for All: Upcycled-Based Social Creative Businesses for the Transformation of Socio-Technical Regimes (2020)
Calvo Martinez, Sara; Morales, Andrés; Núñez-Cacho Utrilla, Pedro and Guaita Martínez, José Manuel
International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 17, Article 2527(7)

Solidarity Economy, Social Enterprise, and Innovation Discourses: Understanding Hybrid Forms in Postcolonial Colombia (2019-07-01)
Calvo Martinez, Sara; Morales, Andrés; Martín Martín, José María and Molina Moreno, Valentín
Social Sciences, 8, Article 205(7)

The use of MOOCs in social enterprise education: an evaluation of a North–South collaborative FutureLearn program (2019)
Calvo, Sara; Morales, Andrés and Wade, Jeremy
Journal of Small Business & Entrepreneurship, 31(3) (pp. 201-223)

Applying Strategic Niche Management to understand how universities contribute to the development of social innovation niches: the case of the Social Innovation Scientific Park in Colombia (2018)
Calvo Martinez, Sara; Morales, Andrés and Gómez, Jefferson Enrique Arias
Recerca. Revista de pensament i anàlisi.(23) (pp. 95-130)

Conducting Video Research in the Social and Solidarity Economy (2016-10)
Calvo, Sara and Morales, Andrés
International Journal of E-Politics, 7(4) (pp. 40-55)

Sink or Swim: Social Enterprise as a Panacea for Non-profit Organisations? (2016-10)
Calvo, Sara and Morales, Andrés
Journal of International Development, 28(7) (pp. 1170-1188)

Arusha women entrepreneur: reducing poverty through job creation and sustainable income for smallholder farmers (2016)
Calvo, Sara and Morales, Andres
Emerald Emerging Markets Case Studies, 6(4)

London 2012: Missed out on Olympics contracts? A case study of ethnic minority organisations in East London (2014)
Calvo, Sara
Local Economy: The Journal of the Local Economy Policy Unit, 29(1-2) (pp. 82-97)

Social Enterprise and Ethnic Minorities: Exploring the Consequences of the Evolving British Policy Agenda (2013)
Sepulveda, Leandro; Syrett, Stephen and Calvo, Sara
Environment and Planning C: Government and Policy, 31(4) (pp. 633-648)

Social and Solidarity Economy: The World’s Economy with a Social Face (2017-06)
Calvo, Sara and Morales, Andrés
Publisher : Routledge

The Contribution of Waste Management Social Enterprises to the SDGs: Exploring Case Study Organisations From the Global South (2024-03-22)
Calvo Martinez, Sara
In: Castanho, Rui Alexandre ed. Green Economy and Renewable Energy Transitions for Sustainable Development (pp. 128-143)
ISBN : 9798369312971 | Publisher : IGI Global

Buen Vivir, a decolonial approach to development (2021)
Morales, Andrés and Calvo, Sara
In: Calvo, Sara and Morales, Andrés eds. Social Innovation in Latin America: Maintaining and Restoring Social and Natural Capital (pp. 3-36)
ISBN : 9780367823382 | Publisher : Routledge

El uso del video participativo para entender el Buen Vivir de la comunidad misak en Colombia (2018)
Morales, Andrés and Calvo, Sara
In: Boni, Alejandra and Millán, Gynna eds. Relatos Para La Transición. Experiencias de investigación mediante el video participativo con enfoque global.. Cuadernos Docentes en Procesos de Desarrollo Número 4 (pp. 78-98)
Publisher : Universitat Politecnica de Valencia

Connecting Social Enterprise and Higher Education: Universities as drivers in the support of social enterprises in the United Kingdom (2017)
Calvo Martinez, Sara
In: Khosrow-Pour, Mehdi ed. Entrepreneurship: Concepts, Methodologies, Tools, and Applications (pp. 765-797)
ISBN : 9781522519249 | Publisher : IGI Global | Published : Hershey PA, USA

Digital Technology as a Tool for Social Regeneration: Web 2.0’s Intended and Unintended Outcomes Within a Society (2017)
Morales, Andrés and Calvo, Sara
In: Nogales, Rocio; Hulgård, Lars; Defourny, Jacques; Sacchetti, Silvia; Christoforou, Asimina and Mosca, Michele eds. Social Regeneration and Local Development Cooperation, Social Economy, and Public Participation (pp. 187-208)
Publisher : Routledge

Connecting Social Enterprise and Higher Education: Universities as Drivers in the Support of Social Enterprises in the United Kingdom (2016)
Calvo, Sara
In: Carvalho, Luísa ed. Handbook of Research on Entrepreneurial Success and its Impact on Regional Development (pp. 600-630)
Publisher : IGI Global

Social Innovation in Latin America: Maintaining and Restoring Social and Natural Capital (2021-03-09)
Morales, Andrés and Calvo, Sara
Calvo, Sara and Morales, Andrés eds.
ISBN : 9780367416881 | Publisher : Routledge

Exploring complementary currencies in Europe: a comparative study of local initiatives in Spain and the United Kingdom (2014-09)
Calvo, Sara and Morales, Andrés
Living In Minca

Exploring the Dynamics of Social Enterprises in Tanzania (2013-07)
Calvo, Sara and Morales, Andrés
Living In Minca

The Social and Solidarity Economy in Ecuador: opportunities and challenges (2013-07)
Calvo, Sara and Morales, Andrés
Living In Minca

Social enterprise and ethnic minorities (2010-11)
Sepulveda, Leandro; Syrett, Stephen and Calvo, Sara
Third Sector Research Centre, Working Paper 48, University of Birmingham.