Maria is a Senior Lecturer, researcher, knowledge manager and social enterprise consultant with experience in the private, social economy and academic sectors. After having worked as knowledge management practitioner for five years in combination with consultancy work with social economy organisations in Colombia, she has started her academic career in UK as researcher and senior lecturer in social enterprises, social innovation, knowledge management, informal entrepreneurship, marginalised social groups and sustainability.
- PhD Business Information Management and Operations, University of Westminster, UK
- MSc Industrial Engineering, Universidad de los Andes, Colombia
- BSc Industrial Engineering, Universidad Nacional de Colombia
Maria is a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy. She has taught business-related topics on undergraduate and postgraduate modules, including Sustainable Business, Global Strategic Management and Digital Business. She is currently leading the Innovation and Creativity module.
Maria's research interests are mostly on 'enterprising at human scale'. Her work focuses on:
i) Understanding social initiatives at micro/local/bottom-up level and learn from them while co-creating the conditions for them to thrive.
ii) People empowered in their right to earn a living and develop formally in the economy by enterprising as oppose to an employment route, arising out from their own initiative and commitment
iii) Field-based social innovations in local development context with a prime interest in grassroots around the world, with emphasis on the global south
She has projects in Brazil, Colombia and the UK exploring social enterprises, social innovations, community-based enterprises, barefoot and informal entrepreneurship, waste pickers, low-skilled low-waged migrants, and spiral economy. Most recently, she was awarded funding from the British Academy/Leverhulme Trust (2019, £10k) to explore the struggles of Venezuelans migrants in the Colombian informal economy working as waste pickers to inform policy and practice.
For details of all my research outputs, visit my WestminsterResearch profile.