Fergus Lyon is a Professor of Enterprise and Organisations in the Centre for Enterprise and Economic Development Research, Middlesex University, UK. His research interests include social and community enterprises, provision of public services by social enterprises, clustering and networks of enterprises, ethnic minority enterprise, and enterprise support policy. Recent funders include the Economic and Social Research Council, Office of the Third Sector, HMT, DBERR, DEFRA, DFES, CLG/ODPM, East of England Development Agency, South East of England Development Agency, Commission for Rural Communities, and Department for International Development. In 2007 he was seconded to the Prime Ministers’ Strategy Unit (Health team) in the Cabinet Office. Currently he is the social enterprise lead on the £10m Third Sector Research Centre funded over five years by ESRC and Office for Civil Society. Previously he has carried out research in Ghana, Nigeria, India, Pakistan and Nepal. He is also a founder and director of a social enterprise preschool. He is on the editorial board of the Social Enterprise Journal and Journal of Trust Research. Fergus has over 120 publications including 30 substantial reports for policy makers funded by UK and international donors, 18 papers in established international journals, 17 book chapters, a number of shorter policy briefings and a two books on social research methodologies. He started his academic career at University of Durham after working for the UK’s Department for International Development. He has a PhD from University of Durham and a masters degree from the School of Development Studies, University of East Anglia.

Recent Publications (since 2000):

Refereed articles in Academic Journals

  • Amoako, I and Lyon, F (2013) ‘We don’t deal with courts’: Cooperation and Alternative Institutions Shaping Exporting Relationships of SMEs in Ghana. International Small Business Journal
  • Harris, F., and Lyon, F. (2013), Transdisciplinary environmental research: Building trust across professional cultures, Environmental Science and Policy. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.envsci.2013.02.006
  • Teasdale, S., Lyon, F. and Baldock, R. (2013) A methodological critique of the social enterprise growth myth. Journal of Social Entrepreneurship (April)
  • Vickers, I and Lyon, F (2013) Beyond green niches? Growth strategies of environmentally-motivated social enterprises. International Small Business Journal
  • Arvidson, M. Lyon, F. McKay, S and Moro, D (2012) Valuing the Social? The nature and controversies of measuring Social Return on Investment (SROI). Voluntary Sector Review (November)
  • Lyon, F and Humbert, A (2012) 'Gender balance in the governance of social enterprise' Local Economy 27 (8) 831-845
  • Lyon, F. and Fernandez, H. (2012) Strategies for Scaling Up Social Enterprise: Lessons from Early Years ProvidersSocial Enterprise Journal 8,1 : 63-77
  • Sepulveda, L., Syrett, S. and Lyon, F. (2011) Population Superdiversity and New Migrant Enterprise: The case of London, Entrepreneurship and Regional Development. 23, 7/8, pp469-497
  • Porter, G, Lyon, F, Adamu, F and Obafemi, L (2010) 'Conflict and Cooperation in Market Spaces: Learning from the Operation of Local Networks of Civic Engagement in African' Market Trade Human Organization 69, Number 1: 31 - 42
  • Lyon, F and Sepulveda, L (2009) 'Mapping social enterprises: past approaches, challenges and future directions'. Social Enterprise Journal 5, 1: 83-94.
  • Lyon, F and Porter, G, (2009), "Market institutions, trust and norms: exploring moral economies in Nigerian food systems", Cambridge Journal of Economics, 33,5 903-920
  • Lyon, F and Ramsden, M (2006) 'Developing fledgling social enterprises? A study of the support required and the means of delivering it' Social Enterprise Journal 2 (1) pp 27-41.
  • Lyon, F, (2006), "Managing co-operation: Trust and power in Ghanaian associations", Organization Studies, 27 (1), 31-52, ISSN: 01708406.
  • Lyon, F and Porter, G, (2006), "Groups as a means or an end? Social capital and the promotion of cooperation in Ghana", Environment and Planning D: Society and Space, 24 (2), 249-262,ISSN: 14723433.
  • Lyon, F, (2003), "Trader associations and urban food systems in Ghana: Institutionalist approaches to understanding urban collective action", International Journal of Urban and Regional Research, 27 (1), 11-23, ISSN: 1468-2427

Other Publications:

Papers in Refereed Journals:

  • Harris, F, Lyon, F and Clarke, S (2009) 'Doing interdisciplinarity: motivation and collaboration in research for sustainable agriculture in the UK'. Area 41, 4, 374 - 384
  • Lyon, F, Sepulveda, L and Syrett, S (2007) 'Enterprising Refugees: Contributions and Challenges in Deprived Urban Areas', Local Economy 22, 4, 363-376
  • Porter, G, Lyon, F and Potts, D (2007) 'Urban food-supply in Sub-Saharan Africa in the twenty-first century: the role of trading intermediaries and market institutions'. Progress in Development Studies 7( 2) 115-34
  • Lyon, F (2003) 'Group co-operation and agricultural market access in Ghana' Community Development Journal 38 (4) 323-331
  • Lyon, F. (2000) 'Trust, networks and norms: The creation of social capital in agricultural economies in Ghana', World Development 28, 4 pp.663-682

Authored Books:

  • Underwood, S, Blundel, R, Lyon, F., Schaefer. A.. (2012) 'Social and Sustainable Enterprise: Changing the Nature of Business' Emerald, Bingley.
  • Lyon, F et al (March 2012), 'Hanndbook of Research Methods on Trust', Edward Elgar: Cheltenham, UK and Brookfield, USA
  • Lyon, F. and Bertotti, M. (2007) 'Measuring the contributions of small firms to reducing poverty and increasing social inclusion in the UK' in Wankel, C'Innovative Approaches to reducing global poverty'. Information Age Publishing.
  • Lyon, F., Porter, G. , Adamu, F., Obafemi, L. (2006) 'The Nigerian market: Fuelling conflict or contributing to peace' in Banfield, J., Gunduz, C. and Killick, N. (eds)'Local business, Local peace: The Peace Building potential of the domestic private sector' London; International Alert
  • Smallbone D., Lyon F. and Xiao Li (2005) 'Trust, Co-operation and Networking in an Immigrant Business Community: the Case of Chinese-Owned Businesses in the UK', in Hohmann H.H. amd Welter F. (eds)'Trust and Entrepreneurship: a West-East Perspective', Edward Elgar: Cheltenham, UK and Brookfield, USA

Research Projects:

  • 2012-2014 Alternative social enterprise models for delivering health and social care public services A Knowledge Transfer Partnership with HCCT , London (£130,000)
  • 2011-2014 The Role of Mutuals in Public Service Innovation (Principal Investigator) funded by ESRC (£230,000)
  • 2008-2013 Social Enterprise Research Capacity Building Cluster (ESRC and Office of civil society) Director of £1.25m programme working with Durham and London South Bank Universities)
  • 2008-2013 Third Sector Research Centre - lead on Social Enterprise Research Programme (funded by ESRC and Office of civil society)
  • 2009-2011 Social Enterprise Investment Fund Evaluation, commissioned by the Department of Health with Birmingham University, Oxford University and Shared Intelligence Ltd.
  • 2009-10 Evaluation Of Innovation Exchange Brokerage Model, for Innovation Exchange, funded by OTS, Cabinet Office
  • 2009-2010 Social Impact Measurement – Public And Third Sector Commissioning, Procurement, Social Impact Measurement And Social Enterprise Development, funded by EEDA
  • 2009 Alternative Approaches To Capacity Building – Practices In The Public And Private Sectors, funded by Capacity Builders.
  • 2008 Review of research and data on SMEs and public service contracts
  • 2008 Mapping the regional social enterprise sector (South East England Development Agency)
  • 2007-8 Review of Economic Assessment and Strategy Activity at the Local and Sub-Regional Level (DCLG)
  • 2006-7 BME Businesses, Asylum Seekers and Refugees (South East England Development Agency)
  • 2006-7 Competition and choice in public services, (Commission for Rural Communities)
  • 2004-5 Improving market institutions and urban food supplies for the urban poor: a comparative study of Nigeria and Zambia, (Department for International Development)
  • 2003 -5 Evaluation of the Support for Enterprising Communities Pilot Project ( Department of Education and Skills)

Professional Membership:

  • Royal Geographical Society, Fellow (FRGS), Since 2003
  • Institute of Small Business and Entrepreneurship, Member, Since 2001

Links with Partner/Business Organisations:

  • Member of Expert Sub-group of the Glover Committee on the Role of SMEs in Public Procurement, Office of Government Commerce, H.M. Treasury 2008-9
  • Prime Ministers Strategy Unit, Cabinet Office. 2007 ESRC Placement Fellowship - April-October 2007
  • Honorary Senior Research Fellow, School of Business, University of Birmingham 2007-2010
  • Session organiser of two European Institute for Advanced Studies in Management (EIASM) conferences (2005 and 2007) on'Trust within and between organizations'
  • Knowledge Transfer Partnership with Social Enterprise East Midlands, to support Social Enterprise and the Low Carbon Economy in the East Midlands;
  • KTP with London Early Years Foundation, looking at social enterprise models for early years provision;
  • KTP with The Guild, to develop enterprise support infrastructure and social impact measurement for social enterprises.
  • ESRC CASE studentships with Development Trust Association, Cooperatives UK, UnLtd, Crisis and Ethnic Minority Foundation
  • Presentations to social enterprises at various events eg Social Impact Measurement Conference 20 April 2010
  • Co-founder and director of a childcare social enterprise (2004 -present)
  • Director of a small diversified farming business (1993 - present)
  • Social Enterprise and Social Entrepreneurship
  • SMEs, Entrepreneurship and Business Support
  • Trust, Networks and Clustering of Enterprises
  • Markets and Entrepreneurship in Delivery of Public Services
  • Market Institutions and Poverty in Less Developed Countries
  • Role of Businesses and Social Enterprise in Regeneration of Deprived Areas
  • Relationships between SMEs and the Scientific Community

Research Supervision:

  • Supervision of PhD Students on social enterprise, social entrepreneurship, SMEs and Networks, Ethnic Minority Business, SMEs in less developed countries and SME Internationalisation
  • Manager of Research Projects