The Centre for Business Prosperity is a network of researchers and experts across national and international networks, with core strengths in the areas of productivity, trade, international economics and business, skills, regional economic growth, and practice-oriented enhancement of for-profit and also social enterprise performance.

The Centre builds on the former Lloyds Banking Group Centre for Business Prosperity at Aston University and is led by Professor Jun Du.

The guiding principle of our research is evidence – we rely on accessible and quality data to conduct rigorous analysis. Our knowledge and experience in handling data ensures the competence and timeliness of our output. By pursuing independent, critical research we aim to inform and influence businesses, households and policy-makers at both regional and national level.

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Research themes

Current projects
Trade and GVCs

Making the UK a more effective trader!

The Trade and GVCs theme is focused on how trade policy and firm trade strategy impact on firms, regions, and aggregate economy in the UK. It also looks at the impact of the global value chains and globalization on their performance. Its main objectives are to generate new knowledge, inform and impact policies to improve business environment and prosperity in the UK.

The group builds on the previous research of The Lloyds Banking Group Centre for Business Prosperity (LBGCBP) in the areas of UK’s position in the Global Value Chains (GVCs), Brexit and Trade Diversion, Servitization and Trade in Services, Non-tariff Measures and their impact on trade, and impact of COVID-19 on the UK trade in goods.

Digital Economy and Innovation

This theme aims to understand the role of the Digital Economy and Innovation both in explaining socio-economic phenomena and in improving socio-economic wellbeing. To do this, we approach the Digital Economy and Innovation from a broad perspective and explore nuances such as the differences between access and usage of high-speed broadband or the various types of innovation. We research across the micro and macro dimensions, from the individual person and firm to the aggregate regional and national level, utilising qualitative and quantitative methods and maximising the interactions with the other research themes.

Entrepreneurship and Regional Development

Entrepreneurship and regional development research is located at a cross-section of two fields of research: entrepreneurship, primarily (but not exclusively) understood as new firms’ creation, and the sub-national economic geography. We are inclusive in a sense that our research also relates to entrepreneurship without geography component, and regional economic geography without explicit link to entrepreneurship. Yet, we wish to emphasise the linkages between entrepreneurship and local development, where the latter encompasses not only gross regional product, but also stable macroeconomic environment, low unemployment, broader issues of human welfare, conditions of social inclusiveness, and natural environment protection. We aim to pursue research themes that are relevant for both entrepreneurs and policy makers. 

MNEs, SDGs and Green Economy

This theme brings together interdisciplinary expertise across the areas of multinational enterprises (MNEs), sustainable developmental goals (SDGs) and the green economy. In this theme, we draw upon research on issues on the analysis of profit shifting activities of multinational enterprises and their tax related issues. Our perspective is broad and we explore the issues related to the SDGs and the green economy/finance from macro, micro and theoretical perspective. We focus on environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues for both the SMEs and big corporations. We aim to create economic wellbeing via social and environmental justice that are underpinned in the SDGs of the United Nations.

Markets and Policy

Our research provides important strategic and behavioural insights into how markets operate. In particular, we study how factors such as collusion, mergers, vertically relationships, industrial espionage, tax avoidance, innovation and advertising impact on market outcomes. These insights then help to inform how competition policy should regulate markets. 

Data and Method

This theme brings together quantitative expertise across the diverse disciplines of applied economics and the new opportunities presented by working with Big Data and machine learning. In this theme, we draw upon research from different strands of literature that can be used onto analysing contemporary issues from micro or macro perspective. We focus on the methods and data and the relevant issues that typically stand in the way of interesting and impactful research. We aim to work in parallel but also in conjunction to the other themes for the pursuit of research projects and funding and aspire to evolve and develop in forms of training and/or study group and/or collaborative projects.