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 

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entrepreneurship Social Sciences
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paradigm Social Sciences
student Social Sciences

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Research Output 2014 2018

Open Access

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

Higgins, D., Refai, D. & Keita, D. 6 Apr 2018 (Accepted/In press) In : Journal of Small Business and Entrepreneurship . 19 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


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
2 Citations
Open Access
Experiential learning
Institutional context
Higher education institutions

Activities 2016 2017

  • 2 Oral presentation

Promoting Values through Sustainable Entrepreneurship Education - An Axiological Perspective

Refai, D. (Speaker), Alain Fayolle (Speaker)
9 Nov 2017

Activity: Oral presentation