Gender, Entrepreneurship and Social Policy Institute
The Gender, Entrepreneurship and Social Policy Institute (GESPi) will consolidate existing, and drive new, interdisciplinary research in gender, entrepreneurship and social policy. It aims to influence policy and social change for inclusive development in the tourism, hospitality and service-related sectors by creating networks and pathways for knowledge exchange between stakeholders. Founded in September 2019, GESPi is a joint initiative between researchers at the University of Surrey and the Open University.
Our vision is a future where a large body (the hive) of relevant and interdisciplinary research on gender and entrepreneurship is available to all stakeholders, and where there is fluid transfer of knowledge and tools between networks and a more inclusive environment for entrepreneurs. Though entrepreneurship leads to equality and increasing gender awareness can improve social policy, these three fields have not been studied together. GESPi will define and establish a distinctive new field integrating gender, entrepreneurship and social policy. The longer-term goal is to build, nationally and internationally, research on the critical linkages between gender, entrepreneurship and social policy comparing different specialist industries and localities, in developing countries and beyond.
- To partner with universities, funders, industry and policy makers to pursue research, consultancy and capacity building projects.
- To create a forum for entrepreneurs, investors (for example gender lens investors, private equity and angel investors, family offices), NGOs and industry researchers to foster creative thinking about how gender equality in the entrepreneurial sector can enhance inclusive development in African countries and beyond.
- To disseminate findings through conference presentations, professional publications and reports, workshops, university courses and new media.
- To publish peer-reviewed journal articles, books, occasional papers, creative writing pieces and case studies.
Our research areas
- Women’s entrepreneurship in its distinctive forms, including family-based ventures, female succession in family businesses.
- Gender-lens investments in new and established businesses promoting development-led entrepreneurship.
- Gender and environmental entrepreneurship, including green innovations, start-up ventures and growth processes of environmentally-friendly women-owned ventures.
- Public policies and cross-sector collaborations to facilitate gender equality in the entrepreneurial sector, for example through support for access childcare, public health, education and food security.
- Entrepreneurship education, including a focus on encouraging women and young people in engineering entrepreneurship education, and teaching innovations and pedagogical interventions that help empower young (wo)men, girls and boys to engage with entrepreneurship and develop an entrepreneurial mindset.
- Sector and area studies, with a focus on (wo)men, youths (and other marginalised groups) and entrepreneurship in hospitality, tourism, leisure, agriculture and healthcare among others.
Smith, W., Cohen, S. Kimbu, A.N. & de Jong, A. (2021). Reshaping Gender in Aviation Employment. Annals of Tourism Research, 89. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.annals.2021.103221
Smith, E.W., Kimbu, A.N., de Jong. A., & Cohen, S. (2021) Gendered Instagram representations in the aviation industry, Journal of Sustainable Tourism, https://doi.org/10.1080/09669582.2021.1932933
Ngoasong, M.Z., Adeola, O., Kimbu, A.N., Hinson, R.E. (Eds.) (2021). New Frontiers in Hospitality and Tourism Management in Africa. Springer. DOI: 10.1007/978-3-030-70171-0
Ribeiro, A.M., Adam, I., Kimbu, A.N., Afenyo-Agbe, E., Adeola, O., Figueroa-Domecq, C., & de Jong, A. (2021). Women entrepreneurship orientation, networks and firm performance in the tourism industry in resource-scarce contexts. Tourism Management, 86, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.tourman.2021.104343
- Adu-Ampong E. & Kimbu N.A. (Eds) (2021). Sustainable Tourism Policy and Planning in Africa. 1st Edition, Routledge.
- Kimbu, A.N., de Jong, A., Adam, I., Ribeiro, A.M., Adeola, O., Afenyo-Agbe, E., & Figueroa-Domecq, C. (2021). Recontextualising gender in entrepreneurial leadership. Annals of Tourism Research, 88C. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.annals.2021.103176
- Ngoasong, M., Wang, J., Amdam, R., & Bjarnar, O. (2021). The role of MNE subsidiaries in the practice of global business models in transforming economies. Management and Organization Review, 1-28. doi:10.1017/mor.2020.55
- Ribeiro, A.M., Adam, I., Kimbu, A.N., Afenyo-Agbe, E., Adeola, O., Figueroa-Domecq, C., & de Jong, A. (2021). Women entrepreneurship orientation, networks and firm performance in the tourism industry in resource-scarce contexts. Tourism Management, 86, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.tourman.2021.104343
- Choe, J., O’ Regan, M. Kimbu, A.N. (2020). Filipino migrant workers’ leisure and subjective quality of life in Macao, World Leisure Journal, 62(3), DOI: 10.1080/16078055.2020.1798052
- Figueroa-Domecq, C., Kimbu, A., de Jong A. & Williams, A.M. (2020). Sustainability through the tourism entrepreneurship journey: a gender perspective, Journal of Sustainable Tourism, DOI: 10.1080/09669582.2020.1831001
- Eckardt, C., Font, X. & Kimbu, A. (2020) Realistic evaluation as a volunteer tourism supply chain methodology. Journal of Sustainable Tourism, 28(5), pp. 647-662.
- Kimbu, N.A. & Tichaawa, T.M. (2020) Determinants of impact investing for tourism development in emerging destinations of sub-Saharan Africa. Development Southern Africa.
- Lund, N.F. & Kimbu, N.A. (2020) Applying the Hollywood scriptwriting formula to destination branding. Current Issues in Tourism, DOI: 10.1080/13683500.2020.1739005
- Zhang, C.X., Kimbu, N.A., Lin, P. & Ngoasong, M.Z. (2020), Guanxi influences on women intrapreneurship. Tourism Management.
- World Tourism Organization (2020), AlUla Framework for Inclusive Community Development through Tourism, UNWTO, Madrid, DOI: https://doi.org/10.18111/9789284422159
- Decker-Lange, C. (2019). Family Structure and Ownership Transition as “Polar Opposites”: An Emotional Embeddedness Perspective. In: Lossau, Julia; Warnke, Ingo H. and Schmidt-Brücken, Daniel eds. Spaces of Dissention. Towards a New Perspective on Contradiction. Springer VS (In Press)
- Kimbu, A.N., Ngoasong, M.Z., Adeola, O. & Afenyo-Agbe, E. (2019). Collaborative Networks for sustainable human capital management in women’s tourism entrepreneurship: The role of tourism policy. Tourism Planning & Development, 16(2) pp. 161-178.
- Ngoasong M. Z. & Kimbu A.N. (2019). Why Hurry? The Slow Process of High Growth in Women‐Owned Businesses in a Resource‐Scarce Context. Journal of Small Business Management, 57(1), pp. 40-58.
- Tichaawa, M.T. & Kimbu, A.N. (2019) Unlocking Policy Impediments for Service Delivery in Tourism Firms: Evidence from Small and Medium Sized Hotels in Sub-Saharan Africa. Tourism Planning & Development 16(2) pp. 179-196.
- Hanna, P., Wijesinghe, S., Paliatsos, I., Walker, C., Adams, M., & Kimbu, A. (2019) Active engagement with nature: outdoor adventure tourism, sustainability and wellbeing. Journal of Sustainable Tourism, 27(9), pp. 1355-1373.
- Dayour F., Park, S. & Kimbu A.N. (2019). Backpackers’ perceived risks towards smartphone usage and risk reduction strategies: A mixed methods study. Tourism Management, 62, pp. 52-68.
- Adeola, O., Ngoasong, M., & Evans, O. (2018). The Gender Question and Family Entrepreneurship Research. In Ratten, V., Marques, C. & Braga, V. (Eds.). Knowledge, Learning and Innovation: Research insights into cross-sector collaboration. Springer. (Chapter 10, p. 159-176).
- Decker, C. (2018). Stakeholders’ impact on turnaround performance: The case of German savings banks. Journal of Small Business Management, 56(4), pp. 534-554
- Decker, C. & Günther, C. (2017). The impact of family ownership on innovation: evidence from the German machine tool industry. Small Business Economics, 48(1) pp. 199-212
- Twining-Ward, L., Messerli, H. R., Sharma, A. and Villascusa Cerezo, J. (2018) Tourism Theory of Change. Tourism for Development Knowledge Series, The World Bank, Washington, D.C.
- Decker, C., Heinrichs, K., Rau, S., Jaskiewicz, P. (2017). What do we know about succession in family businesses? Mapping current knowledge and future territory. In: Kellermanns, Franz and Hoy, Frank (eds.), The Routledge Companion to Family Business, Oxford, UK: Routledge, pp. 15-44
- Twining-Ward, L. (2017). Twenty Reasons Sustainable Tourism Counts for Development. Tourism for Development Knowledge Series, The World Bank, Washington, D.C. 20 reasons
- Twining-Ward, L. and Zhou, V. (2017). Women and Tourism: Designing for Inclusion. Tourism for Development Knowledge Series, The World Bank, Washington, D.C. Women and Tourism
- Decker, C. & Günther, C. (2016). Coordinating family entrepreneurship: When money seeks opportunity. International Journal of Entrepreneurial Venturing, 8(1), pp. 46-61
- Kimbu, A.N. & Ngoasong, M.Z. (2016). Women as Vectors of Social Entrepreneurship. Annals of Tourism Research, 60, pp. 63–79
- Ngoasong, M.Z., Kimbu, A.N. (2016). Informal microfinance institutions and development-led tourism entrepreneurship, Tourism Management 52, pp. 430-439
- Gavigan, S. and Kyejjusa, S. (2020) In Uganda, rural women entrepreneurs are escaping poverty with teamwork and training. Open Democracy (04.09.20)
- Adeola, Ogechi (2020). Nigeria’s female mechanics show how young African women can be empowered
- Kimbu, A. N., Afenyo-Agbe, E. A., & Adam, I. (2020). How women are helping each other to business success in Ghana
- Issahaku Adam & Albert N. Kimbu (2020) Strategies Africa’s tourism requires to manage blow from coronavirus. The Conversation.
- Ngoasong, M. Z. (2020). To support Africa’s women entrepreneurs, investors must understand them. Open Democracy, 29 June 2020.
- Adeola, Ogechi & Kimbu, Albert (2019) Women’s entrepreneurial journeys through tourism calls for support for women investors. New Telegraph (17.08.19)
- Kimbu, A. N., Afenyo-Agbe, E. A., & Adam, I. (2019). These African women are driving the continent’s tourism industry – but they need support. World Economic Forum (28.10.19)
- Decker-Lange, C. (2019). Three factors that make entrepreneurship education effective. PuLSE Blog (14.03.19)
- Kimbu Albert and Ngoasong Michael (2019). Why Africa’s women entrepreneurs struggle to grow - and how to help. The Conversation (08.01.19)
- Kimbu, A.N. and Ngoasong, M.Z. (2016). Women as vectors of social entrepreneurship in hospitality and tourism. British Academy Blog (15.02.16)
- Lombardozzi, L. (2019). Launch of the 'Gender and social policy' at the OU (13.05.19)
- Lombardozzi, L. (2019). The (not-so) secret winners and losers behind the T-shirt value chain – It is time to change the rules of the game (02.04.19)
- Lombardozzi, L. & Pitts, F. H. (2018). Abstract and Concrete Universals: Basic Services, Basic Infrastructure, Basic Income (18.12.18)
- Ngoasong, M.Z. (2016). Women as vectors of social entrepreneurship. Editorial, International Development @ The Open University (05.01.16)
- Ngoasong, M.Z. (2016). Social Capital Key to Development-Led Tourism? Research Focus, IKD Research Centre (01.01.16)
- Warner, N., Pitts, F. H., & Lombardozzi, L. (2017) Why a basic income alone will not be a panacea to social insecurity.
New Frontiers in Hospitality and Tourism Management in Africa virtual book launch
Friday, 9th July 2021
The event which had as special guests of honour, the Minister of Tourism and Cultural Affairs, Sierra Leone Hon. Dr Memunatu Pratt, Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture Ghana, Hon. Dr Ibrahim Mohammed Awal, and the Director General, Nigerian Tourism Development Corporation Nigeria, Mr Folorunsho Coker, saw these eminent personalities deep dive into the role of policy in tourism management in their respective countries and Africa as a whole. The intense exchanges highlighted the need for more active collaboration between African academics and industry/government and importantly for Africa to start looking inward and applying home-grown solutions to addressing their challenges, especially in the post-pandemic era. Chapter authors also highlighted not only the tourism management challenges across the continent but importantly identified various innovative empirical and theoretically driven management strategies to overcome these.
Women’s journeys through entrepreneurship in the tourism and hospitality industry
1pm - 2:30pm, Thursday 5 November 2020
This webinar was hosted by the EU-funded project WomENt and the University of Surrey’s School of Hospitality and Tourism Management: specifically our Centre for Competitiveness of the Visitor Economy (COVE) and the Centre for Sustainability and Wellbeing in the Visitor Economy (SWELL). This brought together academics and entrepreneurs from the tourism industry to discuss the changing and increasingly pressing gender and entrepreneurship research agenda:
- Setting the scene: Women and Entrepreneurship in Tourism. Dr Cristina Figueroa Domecq. University of Surrey
- Female entrepreneurship in the Covid-19 era. Alessandra Alonso. Founder & CEO. Women in Travel
- Women, technology and entrepreneurship. Patricia Gonzalez. Founder and CEO. Alterhome
- Re-evaluating the benefits of women's entrepreneurship: Is it time to reconsider? Prof. Susan Marlow. University of Nottingham
- A Feminist Research Agenda in Tourism. Dr Ana Maria Munar. Copenhagen Business School
- Moderated by Prof. Allan Williams. Chair of Tourism and Mobility Studies. University of Surrey.
Women in Small Tourism Communities
1pm - 2:30pm, Saturday 10 October 2020, SHTM, University of Surrey, Guildford.
Covid-19 has exacerbated the multiple challenges faced by women in small tourism firms (STF). It is recognised that the tourism sector provides women with employment and entrepreneurial opportunities, both vital for their economic and social independence. For women entrepreneurs, their STFs also act as platforms for the promotion of local development and social transformation and enables them to create ‘new’ self-identities.
In this webinar, two African women tourism micro entrepreneurs explain their journeys and how this has transformed them and others. They discuss the impact of Covid-19 on their businesses and the strategies they have adopted to overcome its challenges in resource-scarce environments. Two tourism industry experts from academia and industry respond to those presentations, sharing their insights into lessons being learnt and best practices during this pandemic and beyond.
Membership in GESPi is open to staff across disciplines in the University of Surrey, The Open University, Associates and external collaborators with active research interest in gender, entrepreneurship and social policy. The inclusion of regional expertise between Africa, Asia, the Americas and Europe will provide for cross-learning, knowledge sharing and cross-cultural perspectives. We also welcome associates from other faculties and institutions.
Find an expert
University of Surrey
Dr Ewoenam Afenyo-Agbe
Lecturer, University of Cape Coast, Ghana
Dr Frederick Dayour
Senior Lecturer, SDD University of Business and Integrated Development Studies, Ghana
Dr Cristina Figueroa-Domecq
Associate Professor, Rey Juan Carlos University, Madrid
Collaborators and advisers
Founder Women of Value SA (WOVSA), Chairperson Southern Africa Women in Tourism (SAWIT)