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Professor Lynn Oxborrow's Inaugural Lecture

Embedding the ‘B’ in Business Support

Lynn Oxborrow
Networking | Public lectures | Seminars

Lynn Oxborrow, Professor of Sustainable Small Business Growth, reflects on almost 30 years of working as an entrepreneurial academic to support the small business community of Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire (D2N2) and beyond.

  • From: Thursday 22 June 2023, 5.30 pm
  • To: Thursday 22 June 2023, 7.30 pm
  • Registration: 5.30 pm
  • Location: Lecture Theatre 5, Newton building, Goldsmith Street, Nottingham, NG1 4BU
  • Booking deadline: Thursday 22 June 2023, 3.00 pm
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Event details

From an inauspicious start protecting the local clothing sector from the impending march of globalisation, Lynn has led and contributed to a succession of publicly funded initiatives to support 1000s of scaling and innovating small businesses, including in fashion and textiles, the creative industries and more recently all sectors through the Help to Grow Programme.

During this time, her influence has extended to the design of multi-partner programmes, bidding for £millions of EU and UK Government funding and leading a sizeable delivery team, generating a substantial impact on the D2N2 small business ecosystem. She has also been active in consultancy, research and curriculum development at national and international level. In 2021, NBS submitted an impact case study to the Research Excellence Framework (REF) based on the benefits to business and policy makers that this extensive experience has generated; in 2019, her work was instrumental in NBS being referred to as ‘outstanding’ by The Small Business Charter; and in 2020, two of Lynn’s core projects were identified as Good Practices by The Interreg Europe Scale Up Project.

In this talk, aimed at business leaders and policy makers, academic and practitioner colleagues, Lynn reflects on her experience of ‘what works’ in the design, generation and delivery of business support, with a brisk exploration of how business support, designed to generate real impact for its beneficiaries, should be tempered by a liberal dose of business thinking.


Lynn Oxborrow is a Professor of Practice, researcher and experienced and enterprising project director for small business (SME) facing programmes at Nottingham Business School.

Lynn joined Nottingham Trent University as a research fellow in 1994 following a career in fashion retail management. Since then, she has gained extensive experience in understanding the needs of small businesses in various contexts, developing and delivering increasingly ambitious programmes to support their growth, and leading on research to understand the associated impact and implications.

Lynn is currently contracted to the Chartered Association of Business Schools (CABS) to co-ordinate the development of module materials for the UK wide Help to Grow consortium and is leading on the addition of new SME case study-based modules. For REF2021, she led on the development of an Impact Case Study: Building an ecosystem of support for SME competitiveness, growth and innovation, and is working on developing this further.

Since 2021-22, Lynn has been the Programme Director for the Help to Grow: Management programme at NBS, and previously the Small Business Leadership Programme, a fully online programme to aid SME Covid recovery, both led by CABS. She was project lead for the D2N2 UpScaler Programme in collaboration with the East Midlands Chamber; a founding member of the Big House Programme that has supported Creative and Digital Industry SMEs in D2N2 for over six years; and led NTU’s Future Factory, a progressive project to support SMEs to innovate and adopt sustainable practices.

Lynn is also a lecturer in Supply Chain Management, with research interests and professional and academic publications in fashion supply chain management, sustainable supply chains, creative & digital industry clustering, all relating to those early days working with and in the textiles and clothing sector.

Lynn has led NTU to secure over £10million in grant funding since 2009, from a variety of sources including the European Regional Development Fund, European Social Fund, UK Government Departments for Business and Trade (DBT), and Environment and Rural Affairs (DEFRA). Her projects have provided meaningful support to well over 1000 SMEs, and reached many more.

Lynn was awarded a Doctor of Business Administration (DBA) from Nottingham Trent University in 2015, for a study entitled: Future Scenarios in UK Apparel Supply Chains: A Disaggregative Delphi Study. She had previously attained a BA in Social & Political Science from Christ’s College, University of Cambridge and was selected to join the very first cohort of the innovative Graduate Enterprise Programme at Cranfield University.


5.30 pm

Registration and welcome refreshments

6 pm

Welcome talk

6.05 pm

Lecture begins

6.50 pm

Close and thanks by Executive Dean

7 pm

Drinks reception

7.30 pm


Location details


Lecture Theatre 5, Newton building


Goldsmith Street


Take a look at our maps and directions page to find the best route for you to our City campus.

Travel Info:

Take a look at our maps and directions page to find the best route for you to our City campus.

Past event

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