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 the Algarve, Portugal, whilst holding a part-time Principal Researcher post with CEEDR. In 2009 she returned to full–time work with CEEDR, whilst retaining her business Directorships.
Robyn is currently a full-time Associate Professor specialising in Entrepreneurial Finance at CEEDR and Research Fellow with the ESRC Centre for Understanding Sustainabe Prosperity (CUSP). Her research specialism is early stage SME innovation finance and her CUSP work has focused on eraly stage cleantech innovation financing. Robyn's recent contract research includes projects for the British Business Bank, Innovate UK and BEIS (UK Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy – formerly BIS). She is currently undertaking programme evaluations of Innovate UK’s Investment Accelerator Programme, the British Business Bank’s Regional Funds and the English Evaluation of the European Regional Development Funds (ERDF). She is also leading a grant research project examining sustainable productivity measurement for the ESRC Productivity Insights Network at Sheffield Unoversity.
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 is Co-Chair of the Institute for Small Business and Entrepreneurship (ISBE) special interest group in Entrepreneurial Finance, editorial board member of Venture Capital journal and has edited special issues in Venture Capital, Strategic Change and International Journal of Entrepreneurship and Innovation. She has also published in Environment and Planning C, International Small Business Journal, Urban Studies and Oxford University ACRN Journal of Finance and Risk Perspectives.
Here is a 1-minute video of someof my recent research