Dr Deema Refai

Dr Deema Refai


Deema Refai is a Lecturer in Enterprise and Entrepreneurship at the Centre for Enterprise and Entrepreneurship Studies.

Coming from a pharmacy background, Deema started her career in the pharmaceutical sector, where she occupied several roles in the ME. Deema completed her PhD in entrepreneurship education from the University of Huddersfield, where she also worked as Senior Lecturer in Entrepreneurship for nearly seven years prior to joining the University of Leeds.

Over a number of years, Deema has developed her research focus around refugee entrepreneurship, where she has led research-funded projects by the British Academy and others. Deema’s work has been published in international peer-reviewed journals and presented in a number of conferences in different countries. Through her work, Deema has developed strong collaborations with the Refugee Council and agencies supporting refugees, with particular focus on the Jordanian and UK contexts.

Deema is currently Joint Editor in Chief for the International Journal of Entrepreneurship and Innovation, and sits on the editorial advisory board for the Journal of Pharmacy. She is also a reviewer for a number of ABS-ranked journals.

Alongside her research interests, Deema is a passionate enterprise educator, where she has taught different entrepreneurship-related topics including new venture creation, and creativity and innovation. Her teaching is largely informed by her research interests in entrepreneurial learning, where she is keen to enrich students’ learning experiences in ways that add value and relevance to their learning.

Research interests

Deema is interested in supervising PhD students in the following topics:

- Refugee entrepreneurship

- Constrained entrepreneurship 

- Informal entrepreneurship

- Entrepreneurial learning   

Deema’s expertise is in qualitative approaches, and has considerable knowledge in applying different philosophical paradigms in investigating entrepreneurial processes.


  • PhD
  • MSc
  • BSc Pharm

Professional memberships

  • Joint Editor in Chief International Journal of Entrepreneurship and Innovation
  • Editorial board Journal of Pharmacy
  • Member HEA