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Antonio Malfense Fierro

Lecturer in Entrepreneurship and Innovation, University of Hull


Antonio's capabilities extend to the development, design & undertaking of bespoke market research in Africa, the U.K and Europe, executive education in the areas of business opportunities/challenges (Africa), general entrepreneurship, firm growth and market opportunity assessment.

Background and Achievements

Dr Antonio C. Malfense Fierro completed his PhD at Edinburgh University Business School in 2012 and has worked at Hull University Business School in since 2013. In May 2010 he was selected as one of the 100 global ‘Young Leaders of Tomorrow’ for the St Gallen Symposium in St Gallen, Switzerland. During 2010-2011 he was the first ‘Chazen Visiting Scholar’ at the Lang Entrepreneurship Centre at Columbia University Business School, in the city of New York.

He has also been a visiting researcher at Makerere University Business School in Uganda (2013), investigating large scale successful portfolio entrepreneurs in addition to work with the STEP family business consortium. In 2014 he was invited to the London School of Economics (LSE) Africa summit as an academic advisory panel member.

Antonio is the programme director for Hull Universities BA Business with entrepreneurship degree.

In 2017 he was shortlisted and won the University of Hull's Student-led 'inspiring teaching' award from the Hull University Students Union. He has been nominated in multiple categories for these awards in both 2018 and 2019.
He was further shortlisted for excellence in teaching at the Hull university employee excellence awards in 2018.

During his PhD Antonio worked for a year with Edinburgh Universities Student business Incubator. He has also conducted consultancy projects in Southern Africa and has worked at a prominent New York, Venture Capital Fund.

Current experience

Antonio is currently working with a start-up in the Ed tech space providing strategic and pedagogical insight while undertaking extensive user research. He also mentors start up founders.

Antonio has recently completed (June 2019) along with two colleagues at Hull university business school, a project funded by the EU maritime and fisheries fund and Holderness FLAG, looking at alternative markets for the Holderness coast lobster fishing industry.

This project involved extensive U.K wide and global qualitative and quantitative research including consumer focus groups, a national lobster survey and industry interviews across the lobster value chain.

Research Interests

Dr Malfense Fierro is particularly interested in the role of large scale (or portfolio entrepreneurship) in economic development in Africa and elsewhere, with his most recent published paper on the topic:

being the first journal paper of its specific nature showing the economic contribution of Portfolio Entrepreneurs in Africa.

This research underlines a broad interest in African business, and entrepreneurship which he has taught at both undergraduate and postgraduate level. More specifically, he is fascinated by the relationship between risk and entrepreneurship and how risk is managed over time by entrepreneurs in different environments.

Current Research

Antonio is currently assessing existing measures of ‘entrepreneurial environments’ and their practical applicability and relevance to entrepreneurs and policy-makers. He is also investigating the role of portfolio entrepreneurship in African economic growth and development. He is also working on an over ten year long longitudinal study on portfolio entrepreneurship in Malawi.

Other research interests, include the growth processes of entrepreneurial business groups in rapidly, developing and growing markets, the business start-up and growth process, family business, educational technology and venture capital.


  • –present
    Lecturer in Entrepreneurship and Innovation, University of Hull