Professor David Rae
Executive Dean Research & Knowledge Exchange
Research & Knowledge Exchange

Executive Dean Research & Knowledge Exchange

Professor David Rae is a leading innovator and researcher in the human and social dynamics of entrepreneurship, learning and small business management.  He has achieved professional and academic recognition for his contributions to entrepreneurship research, education, policy and regional development, with international connections in both Europe and North America, and is in demand as an inspirational keynote speaker at international and professional conferences.

He has a significant track record in the leadership of business and enterprise in Higher Education. A key skill is his ability to engage academic, business, professional, community, and policy leaders and audiences in proactive innovation, learning and change. Prior to joining Bishop Grosseteste University in October 2015, he was Dean of the Shannon School of Business, Cape Breton University, Canada in 2014-15. Previously, he was Professor of Business & Enterprise at the University of Lincoln in the United Kingdom from June 2006, where he held senior roles in Lincoln Business School as Director of Enterprise & Innovation and Head of Postgraduate Programmes. He has been a key member of the Executive Management groups at Cape Breton University, Lincoln Business School and previously Derbyshire Business School, responsible for developing new income streams based on research, enterprise and learning as well as enhancing student experience and learning.

He is a Fellow of the UK Institute for Small Business & Entrepreneurship, having been a Board member, trustee and Vice-President for Education. . He holds a PhD in Entrepreneurial Learning and has written a number of books on entrepreneurship and learning together with many academic journal articles and book contributions. His 2007 book ‘Entrepreneurship – from opportunity to action’ influenced entrepreneurship education practice internationally and the 2nd edition, ‘Opportunity-Centred Entrepreneurship’ was published in 2015.

Recent Contributions to Education & Learning

  • The Opportunity-Centred approach to Entrepreneurial Learning
  • Entrepreneurial leadership for sustainable economic and community development
  • Applying an Entrepreneurial Mindset to the US Engineering Education Ecosystem
  • Using narrative and interpretative methods in qualitative research
  • Applying Momentary perspectives in human sense-making and learning
  • The contributions of Open Data to Community Economic Development

Doctoral Completions & Examinations

  • 2 PhD completions as Director of Studies
  • 4 DBA completions as supervisor
  • 9 PhD and 2 DBA as external examiner (LSE, Brunel, Essex, Manchester Metropolitan, Middlesex, Wageningen, Massey, Nottingham Trent, Lincoln, Delhi Inst. Tech., Jyväskylä.)
  • 3 PhD as internal examiner
  • 3 current PhD students

Commissioned Research Projects

Enterprise and entrepreneurship education: guidance for higher education providers in the UK, Quality Assurance Agency, 2012

‘Learning From Our Place in the Global Economy’ and ‘Opportunities for Our Supply Chains’, Greater Lincolnshire Local Enterprise Partnership, Jan-March 2012

Service redesign, Lincolnshire Probation Trust offender management, 2010-11.

‘The 2010 Survey of Enterprise and Entrepreneurship in Higher Education’, NCGE, Oct 2010

‘The impact of the recession on East Midlands HEIs’ report for East Midlands Universities Association, March 2010

‘Regulation and compliance by small business’ report for East Midlands Development Agency, April 2008

‘Designing a High Growth Academy’ report for East Midlands Development Agency, February 2007

‘Graduate career choices and entrepreneurship: an action research project’ for the National Council for Graduate Entrepreneurship, April 2006, Research Report 007/2006

‘Stimulating entrepreneurship in Derbyshire’: a report on the role of enterprise for Derby and Derbyshire Economic Partnership, April 2005

ERDF ‘Access Innovation’ programme on ‘Innovation for Productivity & Competitiveness’ for graduates working with small rural businesses, 2008-11;
‘Robust Futures’ project to enable Lincolnshire SMEs to develop recovery strategies from the recession, 2009-11;

ESRC Third sector capacity-building cluster project on active citizenship, 2008-13 (Project Director).

A series of commissioned research studies conducted by the Enterprise Research & Development Unit for agencies including East Midlands Development Agency, East Midlands Universities Association, Lincolnshire Enterprise, Lincolnshire County Council, Newark & Sherwood District Council, Federation of Small Businesses, and others.

Lead Academic on six Knowledge Transfer Projects, 2001-2012

Selected Research Publications
Academic Journal Articles

Rae, D. Matley, H. McGowan, P. Penaluna, A. (2014). Freedom or prescription: the case for curriculum guidance in enterprise and entrepreneurship education, Industry & Higher Education ,Vol 28, No 6, pp387-398

Graduate entrepreneurship and career initiation in the ‘New Era’ economy, Journal of General Management, Vol 40 No. 1 – Autumn 2014.

The contribution of momentary perspectives to entrepreneurial learning
and creativity, Industry & Higher Education,  Vol 27, No 6, pp 407–420.

David Rae, Naomi Ruth Woodier-Harris (2013). How does Enterprise & Entrepreneurship Education influence postgraduate students’ career intentions in the New Era economy? Education + Training, Vol 55 no.8-9.

Price, L., Rae, D., Cini, V. (2013). ‘SME Perceptions of the Economic Recovery: a Longitudinal Survey’, Journal of Small Business and Enterprise Development, Vol. 20, Iss: 3.

David Rae, Liz Price, Gary Bosworth and Paul Parkinson. (2013) ‘ Business Inspiration: small business leadership in recovery?’ Industry & Higher Education, vol 26.6, pp473-490.

David Rae, Naomi Woodier-Harris, (2012) ‘International entrepreneurship education: Postgraduate business student experiences of entrepreneurship education’, Education + Training, Volume 54 issue 8/9, pp. 639 – 656.

David Rae, Lynn Martin, Valerie Antcliff, Paul Hannon, (2012) “Enterprise and entrepreneurship in English higher education: 2010 and beyond”, Journal of Small Business and Enterprise Development, Vol. 19 Iss: 3, pp.380 – 401
Highly Commended Award Winner at the Literati Network Awards for Excellence 2013.

‘Action Learning in New Creative Ventures’, (2012)
International Journal of Entrepreneurial Behaviour & Research Vol 18, No 5., pp603-623

Matthew C. Draycott, David Rae, Katie Vause, (2011) ‘The Assessment of Enterprise Education in the Secondary Sector: a new approach?’ Education & Training, Vol. 53 Iss: 8/9, pp.673 – 691.

‘Enterprise education in schools and the role of competency frameworks.’ Draycott, M. & Rae, D.
International Journal of Entrepreneurial Behaviour & Research, Vol 17 No 2, 2011, pp 127-145.

‘Yliopistot ja yrittajyyskasvatus: vastaus uuden aikakauden haasteisiin’, Yrittajamainen oppiminem: tavoitteita, toimintaaja tuloksia, Heinonen, J. Hytti, U, Tiikkala A. , Turun yliopisto 2011.

‘Universities and enterprise education: responding to the challenges of the new era.’, Journal of Small Business & Enterprise Development, Vol 17 No 4, 2010 pp. 591-60

‘Connecting entrepreneurial and action learning in student-initiated new business ventures: the case of SPEED’ Action Learning: Research & Practice, Issue 6(3) Autumn 2009

‘ Entrepreneurship:  Too Risky to Let Loose in a Stormy Climate?’ International Journal of Entrepreneurship and Innovation Vol 10(2), pp 137-147, 2009

‘Creating an enterprise culture in a university: The role of an entrepreneurial learning team’
Industry and Higher Education, June 2009

‘Riding out the storm: Graduates, enterprise and careers in turbulent economic times.’
‘Education & Training’ Vol.  50 No. 8-9 November 2008

‘Connecting enterprise and graduate employability: challenges to the higher education culture and curriculum?’ Education & Training, Vol. 49, 8-9, pp605-619, 2007

‘Unternehmerisches Lernen: ein narrativgestütztes konzeptuelles Modell’
(Entrepreneurial learning: a narrative-based conceptual model)
Zeitschrift fur KMU & Entrepreneurship, 54. 3. 2006 pp 197-220 Universitat St Gallen, Schweiz

‘Entrepreneurial learning – a model for technology based entrepreneurs’ Technology Analysis & Strategic Management, vol 18 no 1, 2006

‘Cultural diffusion: a formative process in creative entrepreneurship?’
International Journal of Entrepreneurship & Innovation Vol 6 no 3 August 2005

‘Mid-career entrepreneurial learning’
Won Best Paper Awards at the IntEnt 2005 (Internationalizing Entrepreneurship Education & Training) Conference, University of Guildford, July 2005 and ISBE conference, November 2005.
Education and Training’ , Vol 47 No 8-9, 2005

‘Entrepreneurial learning: a narrative-based conceptual model’
Won Barclays & ISBA awards for best enterprise education paper, Institute for Small Business Affairs 27th national conference, Nov 2004 & Journal of Small Business & Enterprise Development, Vol 12 No 3, 2005

‘Practical theories from entrepreneurs’ stories: Discursive approaches to entrepreneurial learning’ (won best research paper award at International Council for Small Business 48th World Conference, Belfast, June 2003), Journal of Small Business & Enterprise Development, vol 11, no 2, 2004 and winner of Emerald Literati Club research excellence award 2005

‘Entrepreneurial learning: a practical model from the creative industries’
Education & Training, Vol 46 No 8-9, 2004

‘Opportunity centred learning: an innovation in enterprise education?’
Education and Training, Vol 45 No 8-9, 2003, 542-549

‘Entrepreneurial emergence: a narrative study of entrepreneurial learning in independently owned media businesses’, The International Journal of Entrepreneurship & Innovation, Feb 2002

‘EasyJet: a case of entrepreneurial management?’, Strategic Change, vol 10, 2001

‘How to develop entrepreneurial learning in organisations: the HR role’
Croners Journal of Professional HRM ,No. 22, Jan 2001

‘Towards a conceptual understanding of entrepreneurial learning.’
David Rae & Mary Carswell, Journal of Small Business & Enterprise Development Vol 8 no 2 2001

‘Understanding Entrepreneurial Learning: A question of how?’
International Journal of Entrepreneurial Behaviour & Research  Vol 6 No 3, 2000

‘Using a life story approach in researching entrepreneurial learning: the development of a conceptual model and its implications in the design of learning experiences.’
David Rae & Mary Carswell, Education and Training’ Vol 42 No 4/5, 2000 pp220-227.


‘Opportunity-Centred Entrepreneurship, Palgrave MacMillan, 2015

Entrepreneurial Learning: New Perspectives in Research, Education and Practice, Rae, D. & Wang, C. (eds) Routledge, 2015.

‘Entrepreneurship – from opportunity to action’ Palgrave MacMillan, 2007

‘The Entrepreneurial Spirit: Learning to unlock value.’ Blackhall Publishing, Dublin, 1999.

Book Chapters

‘The Contribution of Momentary Perspectives to Entrepreneurial Learning and Creativity’ in
Entrepreneurial Learning: New Perspectives in Research, Education and Practice, Rae, D. & Wang, C. (eds) Routledge, 2015.

‘Momentary Perspectives in Entrepreneurial Learning’ in Enterprising Initiatives in the Experience Economy Transforming Social Worlds edited by Britta Timm Knudsen, Dorthe Refslund Christensen and Per Blenker, Routledge, 2014.

‘Dr Harry Goes to Grantham: A Momentary Perspective on Narrative Construction, Omission & Interpretation’ in Untold Stories in Organizations, Edited by Michal Izak, Linda Hitchin, David Anderson, Routledge, 2014.

‘Action Learning in New Creative Ventures’ in Entrepreneurship in the Creative Industries – an international perspective, (vol. 2) (Edward Elgar Press, 2011)

‘The role of an entrepreneurial learning team in creating an enterprise culture in a university’ with Simon Gee and Robert Moon in Handbook Of Research In Entrepreneurship Education, Volume 3 International Perspectives, ed. A Fayolle (Edward Elgar Press, 2010)

‘The Creative Industries in the UK’ in Entrepreneurship in the Creative Industries – an international perspective, (Edward Elgar Press, 2007)

‘Mid-career entrepreneurship’ in Career choice in management and entrepreneurship: a research companion (Edward Elgar Press, 2007),

‘EasyJet: a case of entrepreneurial management?’, in Strategic Management in Aviation, Critical essays, ed. Lawton (Ashgate, 2007).