Published on 22/11/2021
ESRC Celebrating Impact
  • The Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) Celebrating Impact Prize celebrates economic or societal impact from excellent research
  • Professor Monder Ram and Dr Imelda McCarthy from the Centre for Research in Ethnic Minority Entrepreneurship (CREME) won the Outstanding Business and Enterprise Impact award
  • It was for the project: Productivity from Below: Addressing the Productivity Challenges of Microbusinesses in the West Midlands

Researchers from the Centre for Research in Ethnic Minority Entrepreneurship (CREME) at Aston University have won the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) Outstanding Business and Enterprise Celebrating Impact Prize 2021.

Professor Monder Ram and Dr Imelda McCarthy won the award for the project: Productivity from Below: Addressing the Productivity Challenges of Microbusinesses in the West Midlands.

The project involves researchers from Aston University and Universities of Birmingham and Warwick, and four practitioner partners – Ashely Community Housing, the Bangladeshi Network, Citizens UK and Punch Records.

It was designed to boost the productivity of microbusinesses by understanding what support they need to improve their firms’ productivity, working with business support organisations to share knowledge, and develop a customised business support programme based on project insights.

During the pandemic the project has improved productivity among ethnic minority microbusinesses and ensured they have been able to navigate the Covid-19 pandemic by helping practitioner partners secure a combined value of over £3 million of funding to support more than 1000 female and migrant entrepreneurs.

The ESRC Celebrating Impact Prize is an annual opportunity to celebrate the success of ESRC-funded projects. It celebrates achievements in enabling outstanding economic or societal impact from excellent research.

Entrants’ applications were reviewed by a panel of academics, engagement and knowledge exchange experts, and research users. Shortlisted applicants were invited to an interview, along with industry representatives who helped describe the impact of the work.

The winners were announced at an awards ceremony on 18 November 2021.

Professor Monder Ram, director of CREME, said:

“We are thrilled to receive this prestigious award for our work in supporting micro businesses during the pandemic, as part of our ESRC-funded ‘Productivity from Below’ (PfB) project.

“The award provides important recognition for CREME’s commitment to research that is impactful and insightful and endorses the innovative way in which the Centre works collaboratively with practitioners.”

Notes to Editors

About Aston University

Founded in 1895 and a University since 1966, Aston is a long established university led by its three main beneficiaries – students, business and the professions, and our region and society. Aston University is located in Birmingham and at the heart of a vibrant city and the campus houses all the university’s academic, social and accommodation facilities for our students. Professor Alec Cameron is the Vice-Chancellor & Chief Executive.

Aston University was named University of the Year 2020 by The Guardian and the University’s full time MBA programme has been ranked in the top 100 in the world in the Economist MBA 2021 ranking. The Aston MBA has been ranked 12th in the UK and 85th in the world.

For media inquiries in relation to this release, contact Sam Cook, Press and Communications Manager, on (+44)744691 0063 or email: s.cook2@aston.ac.uk

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Sue Smith, Head of Press and Communications
    0121 204 3521
    s.p.smith@aston.ac.uk

Sam Cook, Press and Communications Manager
    0121 204 5065
    s.cook2@aston.ac.uk

Rebecca Hume, Press and Communications Manager
    0121 204 5159
    r.hume@aston.ac.uk

Alternatively, email pr@aston.ac.uk

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