Bianca's research interests include small businesses, (social) entrepreneurship and equality issues in the labour market. She has specialist knowledge on the subject of maternity and paternity at work across the world, and has recently undertaken related research in Ghana, South Africa and Malaysia. Her ILO funded study on maternity protection at work in Ghana focused on small firms in the informal economy and the most vulnerable women workers. Bianca also recently studied workplace supports for breastfeeding in South Africa, with a particluar focus on low paid workers. Another key stream of her work is related to social enterprise. Recent projects include a study on wellbeing community businesses, funded by the Power to Change charitable trust, a study on alternative social enterprise models for delivering health and social care public services (funded by Innovate UK), a study commissioned by AESOP (Arts Enterprise with a Social Purpose) to help develop sustainable social enterprise models for its ‘Dance to Health’ programme which responds to the issue of older people’s falls, as well as an ESRC (Economic and Social Research Council) funded study on Older Social Entrepreneurs which was carried out in collaboration with UnLtd, a charity that supports social entrepreneurs in the UK. Bianca has a PhD from Middlesex University in London and masters degrees from Middlesex University, the University of Osnabrück in Germany, and the University of North London.
Teaching interests include small business and (social) entrepreneurship; equality, diversity and inclusion; HRM and research methods.
MGT3180 - Enterprise and Small Business
MGT3193 - Business Start-Ups
HRM3011 - Contemporary Issues in HRM
PhD Research Training
Public Outputs from Research
Lewis, Suzan and Stumbitz, Bianca (2017) Research on work and family – some issues and challenges. In: Fathers in Work Organizations: Inequalities and Capabilities, Rationalities and Politics. Liebig, Brigitte and Oechsle, Mechthild , eds. Barbara Budrich, Opladen, pp. 227-245. ISBN 978-3847407034
Stumbitz, Bianca and Lewis, Suzan and Rouse, Julia (2017) Maternity management in SMEs: a transdisciplinary review and research agenda. International Journal of Management Reviews . ISSN 1460-8545 (Published online first)
Lewis, Suzan and Stumbitz, Bianca and Miles, Lilian and Rouse, Julia (2014) Maternity protection in SMEs: an international review. International Labour Organization, Geneva. ISBN ISBN 9789221290650
Lewis, Suzan and Stumbitz, Bianca and Miles, Lilian and Rouse, Julia (2014) Maternity protection in SMEs: an international review. International Labour Organization, Geneva. ISBN 9789221290650
Croucher, Richard and Stumbitz, Bianca and Quinlan, Michael and Vickers, Ian (2013) Can better working conditions improve the performance of SMEs? An international literature review. International Labour Organization, Geneva, Switzerland. ISBN 9789221275503
Recent Funded Research
Power to Change
University of Cape Town
British Council/Newton Fund
School for Social Entrepereneurs (SSE)
Knowledge Transfer Partnership
International Labour Organisation (ILO)
Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) and UnLtd
International Labour Organisation
Bianca recently led an ILO-funded study on maternity protection (MP) at work in Ghana. The objectives of the project were i) to explore MP issues and and experiences within the specific, policy and cultural context in Ghana, with a focus on small firms in the informal economy and ii) to begin to examine the feasibility of innovative maternity supports at low or no cost. As part of the study, the research team also advised the Maternity Protection Steering Committee at the Ministry of Employment and Labour Relations in Accra, Ghana, in relation to their strategy to accelerate progress of maternity protection measures.
Social Entrepreneurs aged over 50
Bianca also completed an ESRC (Economic and Social Research Council) funded study on Older Social Entrepreneurs which was carried out in collaboration with UnLtd, a charity that supports social entrepreneurs in the UK. Her findings were used to develop programmes tailored to the needs of social entrepreneurs over 50, as well as a support toolkit for older social entrepreneurs. The collaboration also resulted in a Research Findings Paper which has provided UnLtd with evidence needed to disseminate their message about the potential of social entrepreneurship in later life to a range of stakeholders and to influence policy (key audiences: social entrepreneurs, support organisations, academics and policymakers).
Workplace Breastfeeding Support
Bianca has been acting as an advisor of the World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action (WABA) in their global efforts to empower women through breastfeeding support. Her work with WABA has been focussing on the area of women's employment, including supports for women in low paid employment and the informal economy.
She is also currently collaborating with the University of Cape Town and the South African clothing workers union SACTWU on the design, implementation and evaluation of an intervention for workplace breastfeeding support.
Professional Roles and Activities
Recent media experience
Webinar on 'Older Social Entrepreneurs', organised by the Third Sector Research Centre and GlobalNet21.