Maria Wishart

Research Fellow

Maria joined the Enterprise Research Centre in February 2018 as a Research Fellow based at Warwick Business School. Before coming to academia, she spent 17 years working in global consumer marketing roles in a number of UK-based companies. She is experienced in undergraduate and postgraduate teaching. Maria’s academic qualifications include an undergraduate degree in Business Management with French, an MA in Philosophy, an MSc in Research Methods and a PhD in Identity and Ethics. Her current research interests include business resilience, rural enterprise and business ethics.

Contact Details

Email:[email protected]

Research Themes

  • Business Growth
  • COVID-19
  • Diversity
  • Management and Leadership
  • Productivity and performance

Biography

Maria joined the Enterprise Research Centre in February 2018 as a Research Fellow based at Warwick Business School. Before coming to academia, she spent 17 years working in global consumer marketing roles in a number of UK-based companies. She is experienced in undergraduate and postgraduate teaching. Maria’s academic qualifications include an undergraduate degree in Business Management with French, an MA in Philosophy, an MSc in Research Methods and a PhD in Identity and Ethics. Her current research interests include business resilience, rural enterprise and business ethics.

SOTA Review

What are the main barriers to entrepreneurship in under-represented groups? SOTA review No 40

This review considers research that explores the evidence on the main barriers that are encountered by aspirant entrepreneurs from disadvantaged groups attempting to establish and run their own businesses. Some barriers to entrepreneurship appear to be experienced in common by all or most groups, but others are specific to certain types of individuals (OECD/EU, 2017).

Authors
Associated Themes
  • Diversity
  • Entrepreneurship
Research Report

Employee well-being, mental health and productivity in Midlands firms: The employer perspective

This report focuses on the engagement, attitudes and behaviours of around 1,900 employers across the East and West Midlands to employee well-being and mental health. It also considers the effects of well-being and mental health on organisational performance and productivity. Data for the study was collected through telephone interviews and in-depth case studies in the three months immediately before the Covid-19 virus lockdown. The report therefore provides a pre-Covid-19 baseline which may be a useful comparator in months and years to come, when considering the impacts of the pandemic on employers and employees

Author

ERC,

Associated Themes
  • Management and Leadership
  • Productivity and performance
Research Report

Building resilience in under-represented entrepreneurs: A European comparative study.

This report is the result of a two year, five-country study into small business resilience with a particular focus on firms with female and ethnic minority leaders. The overarching aim of the research was to deliver insight into what makes small businesses resilient and thus more able to survive crises. We also wanted to understand whether entrepreneurs from underrepresented groups face particular challenges related to their status, and if so, what could be done to address these challenges.

Author

ERC,

Associated Themes
  • Diversity
  • Entrepreneurship
SOTA Review

Resilience in SMEs. SOTA No 15

SMEs (firms with fewer than 250 employees) make an important contribution to employment and value creation across Europe, and so ensuring that they are able to withstand adversity is of interest to many varied stakeholders. However, most resilience research to date has focused upon large organisations, with the implicit assumption that findings also apply to small organisations. This ignores the unique contextual and structural characteristics that define many SMEs. Where SMEs have been considered, resilience research has focused on SME characteristics and capabilities and on the individual resilience of the leaders of SMEs. Little research has considered practical interventions which may improve resilience in SMEs. Exploring contextual aspects unique to SMEs that may work to their advantage in developing resilience, interrogating the link between leader resilience and organisation resilience, and exploring SME resilience in the context of the organisation’s geographical location offer potentially fruitful avenues for future research.

Authors
Associated Themes
  • Entrepreneurship
Research Report

Understanding business resilience among under-represented groups in London

Supported by the JPMorgan Chase Foundation this report highlights the preliminary findings from a new survey of business adversity and resilience in 600 small businesses located in six London boroughs, three low-income and three middle-income. The study aims to identify the characteristics and strategies that foster resilience survival and growth in SMEs, and to develop practical toolkits to support under-represented entrepreneurs in their efforts to develop more resilient businesses. Four key findings emerge:

• Male and female-led businesses were equally likely to have experienced an existential threat to the survival of their business in the past five years. However, male business owners judged the potential for future threats to be less significant than their female counterparts.
• Ethnic-led businesses were significantly more likely than non-ethnic led businesses to have experienced a threat to the survival of their business. This effect was more evident for younger ethnic businesses and those located in low-income boroughs.
• Ethnic-minority business owners also judged the potential for future threats to be greater than their non-ethnic counterparts. Key issues included increased competition from new and existing sources, cost rises, problems with premises and changes in regulation or legislation.
• Psychological measures of personal resilience on average vary little between male and female business leaders and those from ethnic and non-ethnic groups. There is more significant variation within each group.

Author

Wishart, Maria, Roper, Stephen, Hart, Mark

Associated Themes
  • Diversity
  • Entrepreneurship
Research Report

Under-represented entrepreneurs: A literature review

Some groups of individuals are more likely than others to struggle to find paid employment because they experience systemic disadvantage of some kind. These groups include migrants, people who identify as having a disability, and those with low educational attainment. The entrepreneurship route – essentially becoming self-employed or starting their own businesses - is often suggested as a way into work for these people. However, fewer individuals from these groups engage in entrepreneurial activity of this kind, and those that do succeed in starting their own businesses experience lower turnover and higher failure rates than their mainstream counterparts. These groups of individuals are thus under-represented in entrepreneurship, and this paper reviews published research from both academic and non-academic sources that investigates why this might be.

Author

Wishart, Maria, ERC,

Associated Themes
  • Diversity
  • Entrepreneurship
Research Report

Business resilience in an SME context: A literature review

We define business resilience as a strategic objective intended to help an organisation survive and prosper. A highly resilient organisation is more adaptive, competitive, agile and robust than less resilient organisations and rebounds from adversity strengthened and more resourceful.
Resilience is clearly highly desirable in business organisations and as a result, business resilience is a growing field of research. To date, three main strands of business resilience research can be discerned, focusing on employees, business models, and organisational efforts to anticipate, prevent and respond to challenges. In fact, business resilience research to date has tended to focus quite strongly on large organisations, and assumed that findings are transferable to smaller businesses, which is not necessarily the case. Perhaps for this reason, resilience research focusing explicitly on SMEs is a small field, but one that is gaining momentum. This report explores academic and non-academic research into resilience in SMEs in particular, and identifies the key strands of work that have been done so far. It also identifies gaps in our knowledge which underpin an agenda for future research.

Author

Wishart, Maria, ERC,

Associated Themes
  • Management and Leadership