Leigh Sear

Principal Lecturer

Faculty:Lord Ashcroft International Business School

Department:Marketing, Enterprise and Tourism Staff

Location: Cambridge

Areas of Expertise: Business, management, leadership and law , Enterprise

Leigh has extensive experience of researching and supporting enterprise and entrepreneurial management, working with organisations in the private, public and third sectors.  Leigh has worked in, and with higher education institutions for over 18 years developing and delivering enterprise and entrepreneurship education.

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As well as working at Anglia Ruskin University, Leigh runs his own business. Leigh is Chief Executive of SFEDI Solutions, part of the SFEDI Group, which is the Sector Skills Body for Business and Enterprise in the UK.  Having previously worked at Durham Business School and Wood Holmes Group, Leigh has over 18 years experience of understanding and support enterprise development at a national and international level.  In the UK, Leigh has worked with a range of national government departments and agencies, regional development agencies, local authorities, local enterprise agencies, higher education institutions, community and voluntary sector organisations, large corporates (e.g. banks) and SMEs, to assist in understanding and supporting enterprise and learning and skills and development.

Research interests

  • Enterprise learning and skills development
  • Enterprise education
  • Business and enterprise support and governance
  • New market development and trading internationally
  • Social enterprise

Leigh’s research interests primarily focus around understanding and supporting enterprise learning and skills development, particularly in terms of the skills required to start, develop and grow a business. In addition, Leigh is also interested in: researching business and enterprise support structures and governance in the UK and internationally; innovation in the development and delivery of enterprise education, particularly co-creation with practitioners; processes and practices of new market development in small businesses; people and skills development in social enterprise.


Leigh has over 15 years teaching experience in higher education. He is currently Module Leader for the MSc Entrepreneurial Management in the Lord Ashcroft International Business School and also teaches on the BA Enterprise and Entrepreneurial Management. Leigh’s teaching interests relate to enterprise and entrepreneurial management including new venture creation, business development and growth, enterprising skills development and business and enterprise support.


  • BSc (Hons) Geography, Coventry University
  • Post-Graduate Certificate in Research Methodology, Leeds Metropolitan University
  • Post-Graduate Certificate in Learning and Teaching (Higher Education), Anglia Ruskin University
  • A1 Assessor Award, Chartered Management Institute

Memberships, editorial boards

  • Director/Board Member, Institute of Small Business and Entrepreneurship (ISBE)
  • Honorary Entrepreneurial Fellow, Durham University
  • Associate, Knowledge, Innovation, Technology and Enterprise (KITE) Centre, Newcastle University
  • Fellow, Institute of Enterprise and Entrepreneurship (IOEE)

Selected recent publications

Sear, L. (2013) Understanding and Supporting Enterprise Mentoring: A Review, Department for Business Innovation and Skills and Small Firms Enterprise Development Initiative, London and Aycliffe.

Scurry, T., Sear, L. and Uglebjerg, A. (2013) Graduate Employment in Small and Medium-sized Enterprises: Results from an AGCAS member survey, AGCAS, York.

Sear, L., Scurry, T., Swail, J. and Down, S. (2013) Graduate Recruitment to SMEs: A Review of the Current Evidence Base, Department for Business Innovation and Skills, London.

Sear, L. and Lee, J. (2012) Labour Market Intelligence: Business Enterprise – 2012, Skills CFA and SFEDI Solutions, London and Aycliffe.

Sear, L., Maragh, D. and Freeman, P. (2010) A Survey of Enterprise Coaches: Are They Meeting Expectations? Wood Holmes Group and The Watershed, Newcastle upon Tyne and Sheffield.