Professor Jonathan Levie

Director of Knowledge Exchange, Hunter Centre for Entrepreneurship, University of Strathclyde

Jonathan leads ERC's research theme exploring the impact of Entrepreneurial Ambition in SME growth. His research interests include venture growth, business model change and entrepreneurship policy.


Jonathan Levie is a Professor at the Hunter Centre for Entrepreneurship at the University of Strathclyde, where he is Director of Knowledge Exchange. He has developed the “innovation confidence index”, a demand-side measure of innovation, for the Institute for Innovation & Information Productivity. The “IIIP Innovation Confidence Index” started with twelve countries in 2007 and was reported by hundreds of news and technology websites across the world in January and February 2008, following an interview with the New York Times. Innovation confidence continues to be measured in many countries across the world, by Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM) national teams.

Professor Levie was Associate Coordinator of GEM in its founding year and has served as an elected member of the board of the Global Entrepreneurship Research Association (GERA). He currently is a member of GERA’s Research and Innovation Committee and project manages a major grant from the EC DG Employment, Social Affairs & Inclusion for the Global Entrepreneurship Research Association. He also co-directs GEM in the UK with Professor Mark Hart of Aston Business School. He is also a co-investigator at the UK’s Enterprise Research Centre, where he is engaged in research on ambition and venture growth. His other current research interests include the role of intrapreneurship in innovation outputs, business model change, and the role of entrepreneurial capital in university spinout performance.

Professor Levie is currently a member of an EC DG Employment expert panel on entrepreneurship and social exclusion and an EC DG Education and Culture expert panel on data and indicators on entrepreneurial learning. He is currently the Scottish universities representative on Scotland’s MIT Regional Entrepreneurship Acceleration Program (REAP) core team, which aims to engage stakeholders nationwide in a collective impact approach to enhancing the innovation-based entrepreneurship ecosystem in Scotland.

With Sharon Ballard, a US-based entrepreneur, he developed “Super-coaching the Entrepreneur”: a set of coaching tools and techniques for coaching first-time entrepreneurs, and has coached entrepreneurs in a wide range of sectors from agri-tourism to high technology in the US, Europe, and the Middle and Far East.

His most recent articles have appeared in Journal of Management Studies, Research Policy, Entrepreneurship Theory & Practice, Small Business Economics and Family Business Review, among others.


Explaining the US-UK Ambition Gap

Data from the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor highlights a persistent gap between the US and the UK in the proportion of business owner-managers with high growth expectations. Professor Jonathan Levie examines the evidence and finds that employers in the UK and the US are in fact equally likely to be ambitious. He concludes that the ambition gap is a result of a rising proportion of new self-employed with no employees and relatively low growth ambition in the UK and a significant increase in the number of established business owners with employees in the US.

Associated Themes
  • Ambition
White Paper

Growth and Growth Intentions .White Paper No 1.

This white paper summarises what we know about the connection between entrepreneurs’ growth intentions and realised enterprise growth.

Associated Themes
  • Ambition