Dr Winfred Onyas

Associate Professor in Marketing

School/Department: Business, School of

Telephone: +44 (0)116 223 1915



I have worked at the University of Leicester since 2014. Before this I was a Postdoctoral Research Associate in Marketing at Lancaster University from where I completed my PhD in Marketing in 2012. My experience spans over 12 years in UK higher education (HE) building on the vast HE experience gained at Makerere University Business School in Uganda.


My research focuses on developing and resource constrained contexts, and in particular on the following:

Shaping Markets and Global Value Chains

Frugal Innovation and Market Shaping

Markets and marketing in subsistence marketplaces

Grant capture:

My research projects focus on building UK-Africa research, education, and industry partnerships.

  • Principal Investigator, UK Research and Innovation/Global Challenges Research Fund £117,883: Bridging the Digital Gender Divide to Stimulate Growth in African Digital Economies (2020-2021). The network project was led by the University of Leicester in partnership with Makerere University Business School, the University of Ghana, Africa Technology Business Network, and Gender and Policy Insights along with five digital stakeholders in Uganda and Ghana. For details about the project, visit the Coalition for Digital Equality (CODE) - a key output of the project - on
  • Principal Investigator British Academy (International Partnership & Mobility Scheme) £30,000: Exploring the Nature and Prospects of Frugal Innovations in Uganda (2016-2019). A partnership between the University of Leicester and Makerere University Business School. 


Onyas, W.I., (2023). Enacting overlapping exchanges to address market concerns: Evidence on sustainable and conventional coffee markets in Uganda. Marketing Theory23(3), pp.411-435.

Dada, O.L. and Onyas, W.I. (2021). Negotiating agency in mitigating franchisee failure: A critical discourse analysis. Industrial Marketing Management, 98, pp.1-16.

Aly, H.F., Mason, K. and Onyas, W. (2021). The institutional work of a social enterprise operating in a subsistence marketplace: Using the business model as a market-shaping tool. Journal of Consumer Affairs, 55(1), pp.31-58.

Onyas W.I., McEachern MG and Ryan AM (2018) Co-constructing sustainability: Agencing sustainable coffee farmers in Uganda. Journal of Rural Studies. 61: 12-21.  

Mwiti F.G. and Onyas W.I. (2018). Framing hybrid exchanges in subsistence contexts. International Marketing Review. Special Issue on Africa Rising. Volume 25(4):601-618 

Onyas W.I. and Ryan AM. (2015). Agencing markets: actualizing ongoing market innovation. Industrial Marketing Management. Special Issue on Market Innovation Processes. 44:.13-21.

Onyas W.I. and Ryan AM. (2015). Exploring the brand's world-as-assemblage: the brand as a market shaping device. Journal of Marketing Management. 31(1-2), 141-166.

Onyas WI and Ryan AM (2014) Articulating matters of concern in markets: (en)tangling goods, market agencies and overflows in Geiger, S., Kjellberg, H., Harrison, D. and Mallard, A.(eds) Concerned Markets. Economic ordering for multiple values. Edward Elgar. 


Current supervision

Lubica Mueller: Agencing Filipino coffee farmers

Alejandro Ramirez: Technology implementation in the fine dining sector: An Actor-Network Theory approach to understanding the goals of its socio-technical interactions

Sara Kabil: Scaling social innovations 

I am interested in supervising PhD students in the areas of market shaping marketing and innovation in resource constrained environments. 


MSc International Marketing Strategies for International Marketing (Module Leader)

Leicester MBA Managing Finances & Strategic Decision Making (Module Team)

Leicester MBA Organisational Research and Consultancy Methods and MBA Project (Marketing Supervision)

MSc Marketing/Leicester MBA (Personal Tutor) 

Press and media

Market shaping in developing contexts

Frugal innovation

Addressing the digital gender divide in Africa


Selected conference papers

Onyas WI Sojourner G. and Nakintu M. (2020). Building portfolio synergies and ecosystems to support sustainable frugal innovations. 7th biennial virtual International Symposium Cross-Sector Social Interactions.

Mwiti F and Onyas WI (2020) Exploring the linkages between embeddedness culture and innovations in Subsistence Marketplaces. Subsistence Marketplaces Conference.

Onyas WI Dawa S. Mulira F. and Namatovu R. (2017). Fostering sustainable frugal innovation in Uganda. International Conference ""Frugal Innovation for Sustainable Global Development"". Centre for Frugal Innovation in Africa. Leiden the Netherlands.

Onyas WI and Namatovu R. (2017). Exploring frugal innovation spaces as agencements. Globalization and Socio-Economic Development. Workshop on Private Governance Globalization and Market Dynamics. Society for the Advancement of Socio-Economics conference Lyon France.

Onyas WI and Mulira F. (2017). Building entrepreneurial capacity in the mobile money agencement. Lancaster-Stockholm Market Studies Workshop. Stockholm School of Economics Sweden. 


PhD Marketing. Fellow of the Higher Education Academy. PGCert in Academic Practice. MBA (Marketing). BCom (Hons).



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