Deputy Vice Chancellor and Professor of Enterprise, Lancaster University

Andrew Atherton is a Professor of Enterprise and Deputy Vice-Chancellor at Lancaster University and an expert in SME policy and China.

Professor Atherton joined Lancaster University in January 2013 from Lincoln University where he was Senior Deputy Vice-Chancellor and led on major university initiatives on employer engagement and enterprise. This included establishing the first new School of Engineering in the UK for more than 20 years, in partnership with Siemens, and developing new approaches and strategies to enterprise and employability that have seen increases in partnerships with employers, improved graduate employability and higher levels of external research and related grant income.

Andrew worked at Durham University from 1995 to 2002, latterly as Head of Department and before that as Director of the Policy Research Unit within the Small Business Centre, Durham University Business School.

He has advised national and regional government as well as major bilateral and multilateral agencies on policy development and implementation, as well as leading major projects to establish enterprise development centres in Central and Eastern Europe and China.

Professor Atherton has degrees from the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London and Yale and publishes on enterprise, SME development and related areas of economic development and regeneration in leading international journals and policy publications.

Current research interests and areas of activity include:

Enterprise and SME policy
Innovation and entrepreneurship
Local and regional development
Social dynamics and aspects of entrepreneurship
Business start-up/new venture creation


  • –present
    Deputy Vice Chancellor and Professor of Enterprise, University of Lancaster