Sarah Underwood

Sarah Underwood


National Teaching Fellow (2017)
University Student Education Fellow [full] (2012/13)

2018-present: Professor of Entrepreneurial Practice
2018-present: Director of Executive & Professional Education
2015-2019: Director of the Centre for Enterprise & Entrepreneurship Studies
2014-2018: Associate Professor of Enterprise
2014-2015: Deputy Director of the Leeds Enterprise Centre
2013-2014: Director of Undergraduate Studies, Faculty of Business (0.5 FTE role)
2010-2014: Lecturer in Enterprise
2008-2010: Enterprise Teaching Fellow Professor Sarah Underwood is the

Sarah is currently the Director of Executive and Professional Education at Leeds University Business School and a Chair of Entrepreneurial Practice. She is also the University of Leeds Academic Director for Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses & the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Women Coursera programme; working with high-growth SME owners around the world. Recently, she has led the formation of the Centre for Executive & Professional Education, which offers blended solutions to professional individuals and organisations through a range of flexible and immersive courses from highly customised programmes to CPD courses and small business support. This includes the University's first level 7 Apprenticeship - MSc in Senior Leadership

Since joining the University of Leeds in 2008, Sarah has helped to established enterprise as a discipline at the university and launched many new elective modules at undergraduate level and masters level programmes. Sarah has also developed and implemented a number of teaching innovations within the Leeds curriculum, including the Year in Enterprise. She is currently the Chair of Enterprise Educators UK and was awarded a National Teaching Fellowship in 2017 in recognition of her contribution to developing innovations in enterprise education. In 2015/16, Sarahs innovations in developing enterprise activities for students contributed to Leeds Universitys recognition with the Duke of York Award for University Entrepreneurship and the Times Higher Education Entrepreneurial University of the Year award. This follows the 2014 Small Business Charter Gold award.

In addition to her Enterprise activities, Sarah led major strategic projects for Leeds University Business School through the escalation of the facultys blended & digital learning portfolio. This culminated in the successful roll-out of more than 1,400 iPads to all postgraduate students in 2014. She is also the founder and Executive Director of a commercial enterprise; the Rainbow Factory, Leeds.

Sarah's research interests include enterprise education and social enterprise.

  • Nov 2012: “Contemporary Issues in Entrepreneurship Research, Volume II: Social and Sustainable Enterprise: Changing the Nature of Business” Emerald, UK. Underwood S, Blundel R, Lyon F, Schaefer A. (Vol Eds) Henry C, Marlow S. (Eds)

Teaching & Grant Income:

  • Sept 2015 Footsteps Fund (Lead) Achieving an Intrapreneurial Mindset (AIM) Programme (5,100)
  • 2014-17 Erasmus+ Knowledge Alliances for Higher Education Bid European Food Studies & Training Alliance [CI] (988,000)
  • 2012-14 Higher Education Academy The Dragons Apprentice: Enterprise Skills for Modern Languages with Harrington, G. [PI] (20,000)


  • Professor of Entrepreneurial Practice
  • Director of Executive & Professional Education
  • Leeds Programme Director for GS10KSB & GS10KW


  • Fellow (Higher Education Academy)
  • PhD (University of Leeds)
  • BSc Hons (University of Bristol)

Research groups and institutes

  • Centre for Enterprise and Entrepreneurship Studies
  • Centre for Executive and Professional Education
  • Executive education