Nick Williams

Nick Williams


Nick joined the University of Leeds in August 2015 from the University of Sheffield. His research mainly focuses on entrepreneurship and economic development, and he has particular interests in transition and post-conflict economies, as well as enterprise policy. Nick is committed to developing his teaching through research, so that student learning is based on cutting edge concepts and evidence. He encourages students to think critically and facilitates independent learning by empowering student engagement. Nick believes in learning that is theoretically and conceptually grounded with a clear empirical focus that is both accessible and relevant to students.


Fellow (Higher Education Academy) PhD; BA Hons 


2019 - present: Professor of Entrepreneurship, University of Leeds

2015 - 2019: Associate Professor of Enterprise, University of Leeds

2010 - 2015 Lecturer in Entrepreneurship, University of Sheffield 

Nick's research interests focus on entrepreneurship and economic development, including entrepreneurship in crisis economies, new born states and transition countries. He is also interested in enterprise policy and economic resilience.

Details of recent grant funding Nick has been awarded can be found below:

2016-2017 - Leverhulme Trust Research Fellowship - Examining the role of the diaspora in fostering entrepreneurship and institutional change, 31000, PI

2016-2017 - British Academy - Entrepreneurship, ethnicity and place in post-conflict environments: Examining evolving economic development approaches in Bosnia, 9800, PI

2016-2017 - Research Council UK - Examining University-Business Links in Ukraine, 6600, Co-I 2016 - SAMS - Examining the links between corruption and entrepreneurship, 5000, Co-I

2014-2016 - EU H2020 - Startify 7, 1.4m, Co-I

2014-2016 - EU TEMPUS, Idea Lab - Fostering students' entrepreneurship and open innovation in university-industry collaboration, 800k, PI

2013-2015 - EU FP7 - ICT2B - Bridging the entrepreneurial gap, 490k, Co-I 2015 - Doncaster Metropolitan Borough Council - Examining the role of HS2 in harnessing economic, development, 64k, Co-I

2013-2015 - ISBE RAKE fund - Promoting International Entrepreneurship and Micro Business Internationalisation: A Study of Soft Landing Zones, 10k, PI 2013-2014 - Sheffield City Region  LEP - Inward investment in the SCR, 50k, PI

2013-2014 - Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council - Entrepreneurial Entitlement, 12k, Co-I

2012-2013 - UoS Internal Funding- - Developing Entrepreneurial and Enterprising People, 5k, Co-I

2012 - HEFCE HEIF5 - Logistics led growth in Doncaster, 22k, Co-I 2012 - UoS Internal Funding - Assessing the impact of the Sheffield City Region, 30k, Co-I

2011-2012 - HEFCE HEIF4 - Economic resilience of the Sheffield City Region, 11k, Co-I

PhD supervision

I am interesting in supervising PhD students on the following topics:

- Entrepreneurship and public policy

- Entrepreneurship in conflict and post-conflict economies

- Entrpreneurship and institutional change Migrant and returnee entrepreneurship


Nick teaches on the following modules:

LUBS2045 Entrepreneurship in Theory and Practice

LUBS1000 Innovation and creativity in business



  • Deputy Director of Graduate School

Research groups and institutes

  • Centre for Enterprise and Entrepreneurship Studies

Current postgraduate researchers