Dr Maria Granados

Dr Maria Granados

Maria is a Reader in Social Innovation, a researcher, a knowledge manager and a social enterprise consultant with a wealth of experience in the private, social economy, and academic sectors. She began her career as a knowledge management practitioner and also consulted with private sector and social economy organizations in Colombia. She then moved to the UK and started her academic career 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 is a social impact and community-engaged scholar who believes in conducting research that makes a difference by driving forward businesses and societal transformation. Her research is focused on social innovation, social enterprises/entrepreneurship, and barefoot entrepreneurship. Maria aims to promote innovative entrepreneurial inclusion of marginalized and peripheral communities through her work.

Maria co-leads the Peripheral Populations and their Integration Research Group (PPIRG) and has projects in Brazil, Colombia, and the UK. Her research explores social enterprises, social innovations, community-based enterprises, barefoot and informal entrepreneurship, waste pickers, economically marginalized migrants, and circular/spiral economy and society.

Maria was awarded funding from the British Academy/Leverhulme Trust to investigate the challenges faced by waste pickers in the Colombian informal economy. Her research aims to inform policy and practice to empower waste pickers and promote a more inclusive economy.

Recently, Maria received certification in SDG Impact Standards for Enterprise Training and Social Value and SROI Practitioner Training.

PhD supervision interest:

Maria welcomes the opportunity to work with PhD students from various backgrounds and disciplines who want 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
  • Social impact management / social value

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)

  • Labour Migration Research Group
  • Homelands

Sustainable Development Goals
In brief

Research areas

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

Supervision interests

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