On completion of her PhD in small business finance and urban regeneration policy at Birkbeck College, London University, Robyn was appointed as a Researcher at the Centre for Enterprise and Economic Development Research (CEEDR) in 1994. After initially dividing her time between SME research and lecturing in political and economic geography, since 1996 Robyn has focused on research at CEEDR. In 2001 she established a legal recruitment agency and in 2006 a holiday lettings company in Portugal, whilst holding a part-time Principal Researcher post with CEEDR. In 2009 she returned to full–time work with CEEDR, whilst retaining her Directorships and in 2021 she became a board advisor for ShareMyBreak, a sustainable local economy start-up.
Robyn is currently full-time Professor of Entrepreneurship and Sustainable Finance at CEEDR, Co-lead of the GreenFin (GreenFin research cluster) research cluster and ESRC Research Fellow at the Centre for the Understanding of Sustainable Prosperity (CUSP). She specialises in early-stage SME innovation finance with a particular focus on cleantech innovation financing. Her recent contract research includes projects for the British Business Bank, Innovate UK and BEIS (UK Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy). Robyn is currently undertaking programme evaluations of the British Business Bank’s Regional Investment Funds and Patient Capital Fund and recently completed case study environmental project evaluations for the Evaluation of the English European Regional Development Funds (ERDF). She is also an academic advisor to the London Borough of Hounslow’s Green Action Plan for London and leading grant research for the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) into the role of Biodiversity in SME finance markets and recently completed a project examining sustainable productivity measurement for the ESRC Productivity Insights Network at Sheffield University.
Previously, Robyn has managed Journeys to Finance for Innovative UK Businesses (published by BEIS, 2017), an Interim Evaluation of BIS Equity Schemes (2013-14), an Early Assessment of the Angel Co-investment Fund (British Business Bank, 2013-14), an Investigation into the Motivations Behind the Listing Decisions of UK Companies (BIS, 2013) and an Early Assessment of the UK Innovation Investment Fund (BIS, 2012). Other related research for BIS has included investigating Mid-Cap bank finance issues (2011), an Early Assessment of the Impact of BIS Equity Fund Initiatives (2010). Robyn has also reported, in collaboration with SQW (2013) to the Greater London Authority on London's finance gaps for SMEs, proposing a need for further venture capital which informed the establishment of the £85m London Co-Investment Fund; and on the future of equity and growth finance in Northern Ireland for DETI. Robyn also managed Middlesex University’s contributions to the evaluation of University Innovation Knowledge Centres (IKCs) for IUK (2022) and examination of European University Entrepreneurial Ecosystems for Research England.
Robyn is Co-Chair of the Institute for Small Business and Entrepreneurship (ISBE) special interest group in Entrepreneurial Finance, academic advisor to the BEIS Energy Entrepreneurs Fund, editorial board member of Venture Capital journal and has edited special issues in Venture Capital, Strategic Change, International Journal of Entrepreneurship and Innovation and IEEE Transactions on Engineering Management. She has published extensively, including in IEEE Transactions on Engineering Management, International Journal of Entrepreneurial Behaviour Research, Environment and Planning C, International Small Business Journal, Urban Studies, Strategic Change, Venture Capital and Oxford University ACRN Journal of Finance and Risk Perspectives.
Here is a 1-minute video of someof my recent research
Daniel, Elizabeth and Owen, Robyn (2022). Home-Based Self-Employment: Combining Personal, Household and Employment Influences. Journal of Enterprising Culture (Early access). DOI: https://doi.org/10.1142/s0218495822500054
Pierrakis Y and R Owen 2022. Startup ventures and equity finance: How do Business Accelerators and Business Angels’ assess the human capital of socio-environmental mission led entrepreneurs? In: Innovation. DOI: 10.1080/14479338.2022.2029706
Hussain, Javed; Karimu, Amin; Salia, Smuel; Owen, Robyn (accepted for publication 12/01/22) “Does the cost of energy matter for innovation? The effects of energy prices on SME innovation in Sub-Saharan Africa” International Journal of Entrepreneurial Behavior & Research (doi:10.1108/IJEBR-10-2021-0855)
Owen, R. (2021) Lessons from Government Venture Capital Funds to Enable Transition to a Low Carbon Economy: The UK Case. IEEE Transactions on Engineering Management (https://doi.org/10.1109/TEM.2021.3094992)