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Data analysis for digital-entrepreneurship/self-employment (Application Ref: SF19/EE/CIS/ANWAR)

Faculty of Engineering and Environment

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Dr MN Anwar , Dr A Ali Applications accepted all year round Self-Funded PhD Students Only

About the Project

This age of big data gives a great opportunity to turn large-size datasets with high-velocity and diverse structures into real advantage in many fields, such as health, economics, education and disaster prevention. This research proposal focuses on in-depth analysis of ‘publicly available large datasets’. The data analysis will be performed to explore one of the following aspects of digital entrepreneurship such as online retailers, portals, community sites and also businesses providing services to enable other businesses to operate online, such as web designers, platform providers and operators. It will also include interactions of health and disability with entrepreneurship.

Potential Areas of Study
We are particularly interested in research in the following areas:

- The quantitative exploration of online entrepreneurship/self-employment in publicly available large datasets, for example GEM (Global Entrepreneurship Monitor), longitudinal household survey - Understanding Society and UK census data.

- Digital entrepreneurship with an explicit link to the developing world. This could either focus on digital entrepreneurship in developing countries or migrants from developing countries operating in their destination/host country.

- The use of digital technologies and entrepreneurship by craft/artisanal businesses, for example, potters, jewellers, small scale food and drink producers. The research could explore how they combine the contrasting logics of craft and modern technology.

Suggested Methodology
The final methodology will reflect the detailed research topic, research question and strengths of the student, but it is envisaged that this research will make use of both quantitative and qualitative approach. The main focus will be on quantitative research approach for processing large dataset such as longitudinal household survey - Understanding Society. The qualitative research approach will also be used based on case studies or in-depth interviews with practising entrepreneurs to support the quantitative work.

This project seeks candidates having interest, background and skills in big data/data science.

This project is supervised by Dr Naveed Anwar.

Eligibility and How to Apply:

Please note eligibility requirement:
• Academic excellence of the proposed student i.e. 2:1 (or equivalent GPA from non-UK universities [preference for 1st class honours]); or a Masters (preference for Merit or above); or APEL evidence of substantial practitioner achievement.
• Appropriate IELTS score, if required.

For further details of how to apply, entry requirements and the application form, see

Please note: Applications that do not include a research proposal of approximately 1,000 words (not a copy of the advert), or that do not include the advert reference (e.g. SF19/EE/CIS/ANWAR) will not be considered.

Start Date: 1 March 2020 or 1 October 2020

Northumbria University takes pride in, and values, the quality and diversity of our staff. We welcome applications from all members of the community. The University holds an Athena SWAN Bronze award in recognition of our commitment to improving employment practices for the advancement of gender equality and is a member of the Euraxess network, which delivers information and support to professional researchers.

Funding Notes

This is an unfunded research project.


• E. M. Daniel, A. Henley and M. N. Anwar, “Contemporary Ethnic Minority Entrepreneurship in the UK: A Quantitative Exploration of Break Out and Entrepreneurial Quality”, International Journal of Entrepreneurial Behavior & Research, ISSN 1355-2554, 2019. (In Press)

• D. Hastings, M. N. Anwar and G. Chowdhury, “Exploring The Collaborative Activities of Home-Based Businesses In OECD Countries”, in: UK Academy of Information Systems, 20-21 March 2018, Oxford.

• M. N. Anwar and E. M. Daniel, “Ethnic Entrepreneurs and Online Home-based Businesses: An Exploratory Study”, Journal of Global Entrepreneurship Research, SpringerOpen, 7:6, 2017.

• M. N. Anwar and E. M. Daniel, “The Role of Entrepreneur-Venture Fit in Online Home-based Entrepreneurship: A Systematic Literature Review”, Journal of Enterprising Culture, World Scientific, Vol. 24, No. 4, pp. 419-451, 2016.

• M. N. Anwar and E. M. Daniel, “Entrepreneurial Marketing in Online Businesses: The Case of Ethnic Minority Entrepreneurs in the UK”, Qualitative Market Research: An International Journal, Emerald, Vol. 19, No. 3, pp. 310-338, 2016.

• E. M. Daniel, M. N. Anwar and A. Henley, “Contemporary Ethnic Minority Entrepreneurship in the UK: A Quantitative Exploration of Opportunity Structure and Break Out”, Institute for Small Business and Entrepreneurship (ISBE) 2015 Conference, Glasgow, UK, 11th – 12th November 2015.

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