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Personal profile


Deema Refai is a Senior Lecturer in Entrepreneurship at Huddersfield Business School. Deema's academic career involved several roles in the Middle East and the UK; these included quality and administrative roles, alongside teaching and research. 

Deema completed her PhD in entrepreneurship education from the University of Huddersfield, with particular focus on the pharmacy sector. Her current research interests focus on entrepreneurship education and refugee entrepreneurship, where the latter focuses in particular on refugees' socio-cognitive interactions and entrepreneurial behaviours and identities. Deema has a lot of interest in applying different philosophical paradigms in qualitative research that investigates social processes through the application of a social lens in entrepreneurship research. Her research covers several areas relevant to refugee entrepreneurship in addition to entrepreneurial education and learning. 

Deema's teaching interests cover areas related to new venture creation, creativity and innovation, in addition to her interest in teaching philosophical paradigms and qualitative research methodologies. Deema also supervises a number of students undertaking postgraduate and PhD research.

Prior to joining academia, Deema completed her studies in pharmacy and worked in Pharmaceutical industry for a number of years at a multi-national pharmaceutical company. Her roles covered several regulatory and total quality management areas.


Research Expertise and Interests

  • Refugee entrepreneurship
  • Entrepreneurial education and learning
  • Value and values in entrepreneurship 

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics where Deema Refai is active. These topic labels come from the works of this person. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

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entrepreneurship Social Sciences
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management Social Sciences
refugee Social Sciences

Network Recent external collaboration on country level. Dive into details by clicking on the dots.

Research Output 2014 2019

Focus Point: The need for alternative insight into the entrepreneurial education paradigm

Higgins, D., Refai, D. & Keita, D., 4 May 2019, In : Journal of Small Business and Entrepreneurship . 31, 3, p. 225-242 18 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Entrepreneurship education
Experiential learning
Practice theory
6 Citations (Scopus)
Open Access
1 Citation (Scopus)

A mystagogical view of ‘withness’ in entrepreneurship education

Refai, D. & Higgins, D., 1 Apr 2017, In : Industry and Higher Education. 31, 2, p. 113-121 9 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Open Access

Creating Meaningful Entrepreneurial Practice: Crafting Pedagogical Awareness

Higgins, D. & Refai, D., 2 Jun 2017, Entrepreneurship Education: New Perspectives on Entrepreneurship Education. Jones, P., Maas, G. & Pittaway, L. (eds.). Emerald Group Publishing Ltd., p. 171-195 25 p. (Contemporary Issues in Entrepreneurship Research; no. 7).

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

business school
EU policy
educational practice
8 Citations (Scopus)
Open Access
Experiential learning
Institutional context
Higher education institutions

Activities 2016 2018

  • 5 Oral presentation

Escaping the Iron Cage: Entrepreneurial Behaviour of Syrian Refugees

Deema Refai (Speaker), John Lever (Speaker), Radi Haloub (Speaker), Jamil Samawi (Speaker)
7 Nov 2018

Activity: Talk or presentation typesOral presentation


Promoting Authentic Learners through 'Witness' Entrepreneurship Education

Deema Refai (Speaker), David Higgins (Speaker), Rita Klapper (Speaker), Alain Fayolle (Speaker)
7 Nov 2018

Activity: Talk or presentation typesOral presentation

A Homogenising ‘We-Discourse’ and the Social Positioning of Syrian Refugee Entrepreneurs in Jordan: The Business of Hope and the Politics of Misery

John Lever (Speaker), Deema Refai (Speaker), Radi Haloub (Speaker)
17 Jul 2018

Activity: Talk or presentation typesOral presentation


Promoting Values through Sustainable Entrepreneurship Education - An Axiological Perspective

Deema Refai (Speaker), Alain Fayolle (Speaker)
9 Nov 2017

Activity: Talk or presentation typesOral presentation

Attitudes Toward Business Ethics in Different Contexts: A Cross-Cultural Comparison Between Professionals in Jordan and UK

Radi Haloub (Speaker), Deema Refai (Speaker), Eshani Beddewela (Speaker), Jamil Samawi (Speaker)
4 Jul 2016

Activity: Talk or presentation typesOral presentation