Dr Maria Granados

Dr Maria Granados

Maria is a Reader in Social Innovation, researcher, knowledge manager and social enterprise consultant with experience in the private, social economy and academic sectors. After having worked as a knowledge management practitioner for five years in combination with consultancy work with the private sector and social economy organisations in Colombia, she started her academic career in UK as a researcher in social enterprises, social innovation, knowledge management, informal entrepreneurship, marginalised social groups and sustainability.


  • PhD Business Information Management and Operations, University of Westminster, UK
  • MEng Industrial Engineering, Universidad de los Andes, Colombia
  • BEng Industrial Engineering, Universidad Nacional de Colombia

Maria believes in doing research that matters, which drives forward businesses and societal transformation. Maria labelled herself as a social impact and community-engaged scholar, researching social innovation, social enterprises/entrepreneurship, and barefoot entrepreneurship. Her work addresses the call towards an innovative entrepreneurial inclusion of marginalised communities.

She co-leads the Labour Migration Research Group and has projects in Brazil, Colombia and the UK exploring social enterprises, social innovations, community-based enterprises, barefoot and informal entrepreneurship, waste pickers, economically marginalised migrants, and spiral economy. Most recently, she was awarded funding from the British Academy/Leverhulme Trust (2019, £10k) to explore the struggles of waste pickers in the Colombian informal economy to inform policy and practice. 

PhD supervision interest:

Maria welcomes the opportunity to work with PhD students from various backgrounds and disciplines who would like to embark on a PhD. She would especially encourage applicants to use a critical theoretical framework and innovative research approaches.

  • Social entrepreneurial and social innovation practices
  • Informal and collective entrepreneurship
  • Barefoot, marginalised entrepreneurs, innovations and their challenges
  • Entrepreneurship as a poverty reduction strategy

PhD Supervision Completions:

  • Dr Marco Cuvero 'The Effects of Knowledge Spillovers, Incubators and Accelerator Programmes on the Product Innovation of High-Tech Start-Ups: A Mixed Methods Approach'  Awarded 2020 (Director of studies - First supervisor)
  • Dr Irma Mäkäräinen-Suni 'Innovative digital start-ups and their venture creation process with enabling digital platforms'  Awarded 2021 (Second supervisor)
  • Dr Louis Spring 'Practical application of the Information Seeking and Communication Model (ISCM) in Higher Education - Westminster Business School Module Leader practice - DProf' Awarded 2023 (Second supervisor)


Sustainable Development Goals
In brief

Research areas

Social innovation, Social enterprise - Social entrepreneurship, Informal entrepreneurship, Barefoot entrepreneurship, Global south and Spiral economy / Circular economy

Supervision interests

Social innovation, social entrepreneurship, Entrepreneurship, informal entrepreneurship, Knowledge Management, Innovation Management and Sustainability, Circular Economy