Members of the SSE research cluster are engaged in a variety of research, scholarship and engagement projects related to different aspects of social and sustainable enterprise. This page provides an overview and you can find further details on each project by following the links:
SSE cluster members have been successful in being award a new Horizon Europe funded project on the development of a European Network of Research Infrastructure for CO2 Transport and Injection. Francesca Calo and Aqueel Wahga will be working with Business School colleagues Ali Atuallah, Edoardo Ongaro and Alessandro Sancino. The project started in January 2023 and it will last for the next 3 years and half. The Open University team will be involved in developing and evaluating social innovation labs, processes and initiatives to integrate the research infrastructure in the local communities. Social innovation labs will be a space that favours the development of co-creation initiatives, involving different stakeholders. The co-creation processes and resulting projects will focus upon environmental sustainability and the integration of the research infrastructures in their local contexts.
The research, conducted by Emma Bell, Professor of Organisation and Leadership at the Open University Business School, found that the rising costs of flour and energy pose some serious challenges to bakery owners, and that support is needed for this sector to maintain its important place in local communities. The project report, which was created with support from The Real Bread Campaign and the Craft Bakers Association, shows that small bakery businesses have contributed significantly to British food cultures and local communities, and their growth builds upon a long history of craft baking in the UK.
This UKERC-funded research project aims to provide a robust evidence base to support the multi-level governance of SME decarbonisation across the four UK nations. It will examine current policies, consult SME owners, managers, and policy makers, and seek to identify the key changes needed to facilitate the large-scale decarbonisation of the UK’s SME population over the coming decade.
This British Council funded project was led by Ashoka East Africa, with blended (online) working expertise provided by the OU team. By establishing and operating a virtual accelerator, the partnership will renew and adapt the curriculum with a view to producing enterprising graduates who are capable of securing employment and/or commercialising locally developed innovations that harness digital technology and contribute to addressing the climate emergency in Kenya.
This ESRC Impact Acceleration Account project involved a multi-disciplinary team from The Open University, The Environmental Change Institute, University of Oxford and communication specialists, Climate Outreach. They collaborated with small business owners, managers and advisors to create a short course, ‘Promoting Sustainability in Business: A Values-Based Toolkit’, designed to facilitate more effective forms of engagement with climate change and other important environmental issues.
This British Academy / Leverhulme Trust funded project involved researchers from The Open University and University of Surrey, who examined eco-tourism ventures in Cameroon, focusing on how women owner-managers of micro- and small-tourism firms (STFs) use them as platforms for engaging in various forms of social entrepreneurship leading to societal transformation, economic and community development.
This Open University funded project explored how social innovation works, for whom and under what circumstances in a Covid-19/post Covid-19 society. Through a realist-informed review of research- and practice-based literature, the project intended to identify and synthesise research- and practice-based literature discussing social innovation practices during the Covid-19 pandemic and develop conceptual and practical assumptions on the extent to which social innovation processes play out in this context.
There are also a number of current doctoral students associated with the SSE cluster, including the following:
In addition, we are building on the Schools' successful track record of innovative and impactful doctoral research in this area, including: