Ron Ainsbury, M. Phil. (Oxon)

Associate applied research professor Business Responsibility & Sustainability

Ron explores how to encourage entrepreneurs and small businesses to embrace environmental and societal risks. Entrepreneurs can be inspired by these risks to generate innovative solutions and start new businesses, social or for profit. Managers need to understand that these risks can affect business value and embed their response into business strategy.

Ron earned two Masters degrees from Oxford before gaining over 30 years international business experience across four continents: from standing up himself, working with and in startups, helping others to scale up, as well as being CEO of a public company. In addition to his research interests, Ron lectures graduate students in Managing Sustainability and Entrepreneurship.


Being a responsible business and mindful of the impact that one’s business has on the environment and society is no longer a ‘nice-to-have’, an ‘optional extra’, in the 21st Century. Nor is having a CSR Department or CSR Manager that ‘takes care of these matters’ an acceptable approach. Businesses need to embed responsible and sustainable business practices in their strategy and operations across the whole value chain.

Many multinationals and large businesses are leading the way. What lessons can smaller businesses learn from them? Moreover, a new breed of entrepreneurs is exploiting opportunities to tackle social and environmental issues as well as generate a profit, referred to as B-Corps. Are these opportunities only for start-ups or can existing businesses learn from them?

In this research area we explore questions such as: What lessons can SMEs learn from the experience of leaders? What steps should a smaller business take to become more sustainable? What new opportunities exist for smaller businesses to participate in the Circular Economy? What new business models can be developed either to rejuvenate existing businesses as well as fuel start-ups? 


By Ron Ainsbury, M. Phil. (Oxon)

Blog by Ron Ainsbury, M. Phil. (Oxon)

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What happened to Unilever?

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The VUCA World

In this blog I want to return to a theme I wrote about in an earlier blog, “Will you find a job when you graduate?” ( VUCA, coined...

What do we mean by entrepreneurship?

In business and university circles we often hear the phrase “students must become more entrepreneurial.” We read articles arguing that everyone will have...

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