antonio c malfense fierro

Dr Antonio C Malfense Fierro

Lecturer in Entrepreneurship and Innovation and Programme Leader for BA Business Management with Entrepreneurship (2018 onwards)

Faculty of Business, Law and Politics

+44 (0) 1482 463239

Dr Antonio Malfense Fierro was selected as one of the 100 global ‘Young Leaders of Tomorrow’ at the St Gallen Symposium, Switzerland in 2010.

He became the first Chazen Visiting Scholar at the Eugene Lang Entrepreneurship Centre at Columbia Business School in New York in 2010-2011.

In 2013, he was a visiting researcher at Makerere University Business School in Uganda and joined the Hull University Business School in the same year.

Dr Malfense Fierro's commentary and insight pieces on African entrepreneurship have been published in the Conversation, CNN Edition, World Economic Forum amongst others.


Research Interests

  • African business and entrepreneurship
  • The relationship between risk and entrepreneurship

Research groups

  • Currently working on a 10 year longitudinal study on succesful portfolio entreprenurship in Malawi (the first of its kind)


Malfense Fierro A C, Portfolio Entrepreneurs in Malawi: the Role of Risk and the Environment in the Process of Portfolio Creation and Growth, Edinburgh University (2012)

Malfense Fierro A C, Noble D, Hatem O and Balunywa W, 'African Portfolio Entreprenership and the Creation of Jobs', Journal of Small Business and Enterprise Development (2017)

Malfense Fierro A C, 'High-Growth ‘Gazelles’ in Africa: is Small Really Beautiful?', The Conversation / CNN Edition (2015)

Malfense Fierro A C, 'To Help Africa and Tackle Migration, Europe Must Back Local Entrepreneurs', The Conversation (2015)

Malfense Fierro A C, 'After Obama Comes the Big Challenge for Africa’s Entrepreneurs', The Conversation (2015)


Programmes taught on (2019)

Modules list

  • Starting a New Business (UG)
  • Entrepreneurship and the Small Firm (UG)
  • Working with Businesses: Opportunities and Problems (UG)
  • Undergraduate and Postgraduate Dissertation (including MBA) Supervision

Research PhDs

Dr Malfense Fierro is interested in supervising Masters students, and hearing from potential PhD candidates that are desirous of doing novel research in his main areas of interest.

These include African large scale entrepreneurship and business, entrepreneurship in challenging environments, as well as entrepreneurship topics generally (in any country).

Completed PhDs

  • Abdullah F Al Mulhim (as second supervisor)

Current PhD supervisions

  • Priscilla Otuo, co-supervising with Prof Steve Johnson (2013- )
  • Ze Qian, first supervisor (2014- )
  • Peter Djabang, second supervisor (2014- )
  • Gloria Marandu, first supervisor (2015- )
  • Ontida Chanuban, first supervisor (2015- )
  • Mato Magobe, first supervisor (2016- )

Teaching awards and accolades

Professional highlights

Academic qualifications

  • MA Business Studies (Edinburgh University)
  • MSc International Business in Emerging Markets (Edinburgh University)
  • PhD Management (Edinburgh University)

External roles

Articles and commentary on entrepreneurship and his research in Africa have been published in the (US, UK and Africa versions), CNN (Edition), the World Economic Forum's Agenda blog, Business Day (South Africa), Mail and Guardian (South Africa), E-News, Economy Watch,, Ventures Africa, Bloomberg, EconoTimes and the Malawi Nyasa Times.

Worked for a year with Edinburgh University's student business incubator, conducted consultancy projects in Southern Africa and worked at a prominent New York venture capital fund.

Reviews and Panels

  • London School of Economics Africa Summit 2014, Academic Advisory Panel Member
  • Ad hoc reviewer: USASBE, ESRC and Africa Journal of Management

Awards and accolades

  • Voted PhD Representative for University of Edinburgh Business School Research Committee for two consecutive years.
  • Selected as one of 100 global ‘Young Leaders of Tomorrow’ at the St Gallen Symposium, Switzerland in 2010
  • Chazen Visiting Scholar, Columbia University Business School (2010-11)
  • Hull University Union, Student-led teaching awards 2017. Winner of the Inspiring Teaching award 2017     
  • Accomplished former amateur water polo player who was captain at Edinburgh University (half blue and colours) and selected on numerous occassions for the Scottish Universities Celtic Nations Team

Professional highlights

  • Awarded a circa £100,000 grant, along with two other HUBS colleagues, to investigate the potential of Holderness fisheries (East Riding Council and European Union Structural Adjustment Funds, 2017)