The CREED team

CREED: Centre for Regional Economic and Enterprise Development (*Please note that this page is under development)

The Centre for Regional Economic and Enterprise Development is an interdisciplinary research centre based within Sheffield University Management School. CREED is engaged in a variety of research project in the UK and across the world, examining the policy and practice of innovation entrepreneurship, enterprise and regional economic development. Much of our work has an institutional focus, examining how regulation, norms and cultures shape economic behaviours, landscapes and outcomes.

CREED is also known for research-led engagement around enterprise and entrepreneurship. The CREED team works with a various national and local governments, international organisations such as the European Commission, OECD and World Bank as well as a wide variety of stakeholders across the public, private and third sectors. We are committed to undertaking research with impact that makes a difference and are involved in a number of collaborative research projects and evaluations that are influencing and shaping current debates.

Our research

At CREED we focus on the active and emerging challenges which face economies in both the UK and internationally. Our research focuses on individuals, organisations, economies and societies that are shaped through economic, political and social difference and seek to bring expert insights into the roles of economic development and entrepreneurship. As well as advancing knowledge through research-based insights, CREED is also committed to communicating our work to policymaking and practitioner communities to promote stronger entrepreneurial environments in the UK and internationally and to understand the key determinants that shape policy and practice.

CREED is the centre of the ESRC-funded Productivity Insights Network and ESRC-Innovate UK funded Innovation Caucus. We also have strong relationships with the OECD, the University of Sheffield Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre, the Small Business Charter, and the Institute for Small Business and Entrepreneurship.

The CREED team includes a number of academic faculty and researchers working in different areas of enterprise and entrepreneurship with a reputation for high quality research. The focus of our research includes:

  • Enterprise and entrepreneurship policy
  • Local and regional economic development
  • Small and micro business management and growth
  • Work and employment in SMEs
  • Perspectives on entrepreneurial ecosystems
  • Informal entrepreneurship and undeclared work
  • Artificial Intelligence and next generation services
  • Productivity and economic growth
  • Business model innovation
  • Social enterprise and third sector entrepreneurship
Our projects

CREED projects

productivity insights network

Productivity Insights Network

The Productivity Insights Network led by Professors Philip McCann and Tim Vorley is a multi-disciplinary network of social science researchers engaged with public, private, and third sector partners. Funded by the ESRC our aim is to change the tone of the productivity debate in theory and practice

Innovation Caucus

Innovation Caucus

The Innovation Caucus, led by Professor Tim Vorley, is an ESRC/Innovate UK funded initiative to promote engagement and knowledge exchange with academics across the social sciences working in the fields of innovation policy and practice to inform and shape thinking.

Next Generation Professional Service Firms

Next Generation Services

The CREED team, led by Professor Tim Vorley, Dr Chay Brooks and Dr Cristian Gherhes, is one of three prestigious projects funded by UKRI under the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund focused on the importance for understanding human factors (i.e. non-technical) in the adoption of AI in mid-market legal and accountancy firms.

Members of CREED are leading and collaborate on a variety of projects, many of which are funded by research councils, charitable foundations, and government departments. We use our knowledge and research expertise to conduct research that informs ongoing academic debates and addresses real-world problems through applied scholarship.

Other projects involving members of CREED include:

  • Advising policy-makers and ministers on how to tackle tax avoidance in their economy
  • Working with regional governments and civil servants to re-invigorate the local economy and boost employment
  • Undertaking research reviews for government departments seeking to evaluate the impact of particular policies
  • Working with local communities to generate sustainable income streams through enterprise
  • Supporting social enterprises through research-informed interventions
  • Developing innovative entrepreneurship curricula and delivering training for young people in Europe
Impact, Engagement and Partnerships

CREED works with local businesses, the community and large organisations so that its research makes a difference to society.

CREED is in the process of establishing strategic research partnerships with institutions in North America, East Asia, and Europe.

Further details on these collaborations, including how they bring benefits for our partners as well as to CREED’s research and teaching activities, will be presented here when agreements have been finalised.

CREED works with the University of Sheffield Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre on collaborative projects combining their expertise to understand the challenges to the adoption of new technologies within SMEs.

CREED works closely with the local and regional business community, and is currently involved in active research with legal and accounting professional services across the United Kingdom.

CREED continues to work collaboratively with the Sheffield City Region Local Enterprise Partnership and institutional stakeholders across the region.


The nature of CREED’s work often means that it is financed by a variety of different organisations from grant-based research from bodies such as the ESRC, the European Commission, and the British Academy, as well as undertaking contract research for different include national government departments, international organisations and a range of local and regional governments.

In all instances CREED seeks to make a difference whether through challenging existing thinking in academic or policy circles, changing the debate or providing outcomes that improve practical interventions.

Strategic Partnerships

CREED is in the process of establishing strategic research partnerships with institutions in North America, East Asia, and Europe.

Further details on these collaborations, including how they bring benefits for our partners as well as to CREED’s research and teaching activities, will be presented here when agreements have been finalised.

Our members

Meet the experts that contribute research to CREED

Staff members of CREED
Abbi Kedir
Andreana Drencheva
Chay Brooks
David Littlewood
Philip McCann
Robert Wapshott
Tim Vorley
CREED Research Associates
Beldina Owalla
Cristian Gherhes
Hilary Smyth-Allen
Paul Vallance
CREED PhD students
Bala Auwalu
Benjamin Afreh
Hanan Almathami
Hind Aljohani
Sara Ballero
Kate Penney
Laura Bennett
Ruxandra Jianu
Zusej Dayoiri Fernandez Garcia
CREED Visiting Researchers
Jen Nelles
CREED Project Staff
Kate Penney (PIN Project Manager)
Katy Wing (Innovation Caucus Project Manager)
Phil Wallace (PIN KE Officer)

Contact CREED

CREED has reputation as an innovative multi-disciplinary team, combining quantitative and qualitative perspective to produce high quality high impact research. We are always keen to engage with new partners and clients to develop new collaborative projects or undertake commissioned research and evaluations.


Professor Tim Vorley, Associate Dean of Impact, Innovation, and Engagement
Dr Chay Brooks, Director of CREED
Dr Rob Wapshott, Director of CREED

If you would like to find out more about CREED then follow us on Twitter: @CREED_Research

Study with us

CREED’s focus on entrepreneurship, enterprise and economic growth is embedded at every level of study at the Management School, from undergraduate modules to PhD research projects.

PhD opportunities

Members of CREED welcome applications from students interested in studying a PhD. Find details here.