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Lynn Oxborrow

Lynn Oxborrow


Nottingham Business School

Staff Group(s)
Department of Management


As a Professor in Sustainable Small Business Growth, Lynn’s role involves leading on NBS projects that support small businesses in a range of contexts. She is programme Director for Help to Grow: Management at NTU and has been involved in developing the course materials for the entire programme. Lynn has overseen the ‘Big House’, an SME competitiveness project for Creative and Digital Industries. The Big House has been running for 6 years, part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and features a series of targeted, intense accelerator programmes for early stage, fast-growing and established SMEs.

Prof. Oxborrow’s also leads the operations and supply chain management subject group and lectures in supply chain management at undergraduate and postgraduate level. Her research interests focus on fashion industry supply chains and sustainable supply chain management, as well as the role of SMEs in the supply chain.

Career overview

Lynn Oxborrow joined NTU in 1994 as a Research Fellow to undertake economic development research in the Nottinghamshire and European textiles and clothing sector. After 10 years undertaking economic development and contract research with the Centre for Work and Technology, she took up a role as a Senior Lecturer in Supply Chain Management at Nottingham Business School. From here, she has progressed to Principal Lecturer, having taken on specific responsibility for developing an increasing array of modules in Supply Chain Management, as well as developing activities and programmes for small business clients.

Particular achievements include bidding for and directing the successful Future Factory ERDF project, from 2009-15, which enabled East Midlands SMEs to adopt more sustainable and innovative practices, ultimately supporting nearly 500 SMEs.  Future Factory has now been succeeded by even more ambitious collaborative projects, in which Dr. Oxborrow has been instrumental.

Prior to joining NTU, Dr. Oxborrow participated in the Graduate Enterprise Programme at Cranfield School of Management, followed by a career in front-line retail management in a variety of high street fashion chains.

Research areas

Dr. Oxborrow is an active researcher in the field of supply chain management. She has a history of research into Fashion and Clothing Industry Supply Chains, having completed a DBA in this field in 2015, entitled Future Scenarios in UK Apparel Supply Chains: A Disaggregative Delphi Study Prior to this, Dr. Oxborrow has undertaken extensive research into developments in clothing and textiles industry clusters in different UK regions, as well as comparative research with partners in Italy, France and the USA, led by Professor Peter Doeringer, University of Boston.

In 2014-15, this led to a sectoral needs analysis research for the D2N2 Creative and Digital Industries Sector Development Plan. The final report, Creative and Digital D2N2, has been published by D2N2. This research built on a previous international collaboration funded by Interreg IVc, the Organza project, to compare strategies for supporting creative industries in nine EU cities.

Having been a member of the team behind the WRAP funded Clothing Longevity Protocol (2014) research, Dr. Oxborrow has more recently project managed a research programme funded by Defra and Wrap to explore and develop Strategies to Improve Design and Testing for Clothing Longevity.

In 2016-17, Dr Oxborrow has been involved in research to investigate issues and opportunities for sustainable independent retail in temporary locations, or ‘Pop-up’ retail, as part of a project team funded by NTU’s QR initiative.

As well as academic research, Dr. Oxborrow has been instrumental in bidding for European Regional Development Funding (ERDF) to support two major collaborative projects to support SMEs. Enabling Innovation is a collaboration between NTU and the Universities of Nottingham and Derby; while the ‘Big House’ (The Creative And Digital Industries D2N2 Consortium For Increased SME Competitiveness) is a collaboration led by Nottingham City Council to support growing businesses in this sector. Collectively, these projects have generated grants of £4.3 million to enable Nottingham Trent University to engage with the small business community.

Please visit the NTU Doctoral School website for information on doctoral research opportunities at NBS.

External activity

Externally, Dr. Oxborrow performs the following roles:

  • Chair of the WRAP Sustainable Clothing Action Plan (SCAP) Design for Clothing Life Working Group and SCAP Steering Group member
  • Higher Education representative on the D2N2 Creative and Digital Sector Skills Advisory Group
  • NBS contact for the Chartered Association of Business Schools Small Business Charter
  • Abstract and full paper reviewer for PLATE conference, Nottingham, 2015 and workshop chair of ‘Design for clothing longevity’ conference workshop.

Her work with SMEs also means that Dr. Oxborrow engages with a wide range of micro and small businesses, particularly, but not exclusively, in the Fashion and Creative and Digital Industries. Until end September 2015 she was the Director of the successful ERDF funded Future Factory project and Academic Lead for the Working with you… project, in collaboration with CAADH and the Business Development Team respectively.

Sponsors and collaborators

  • European Regional Development Fund
  • Defra
  • The Creative Quarter Company
  • Nottingham City Council
  • D2N2 LEP

Press expertise

  • marketing and supply chain in the fashion and textiles industry
  • creative industries in the East Midlands
  • new retail store concepts
  • retail business (specialising in small to medium-sized enterprises)
  • retail supply chain management
  • sustainable products and processes in SMEs