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Farm Venture evaluation


The Farm Venture project aimed to assist groups of farmers develop ideas from which new ventures could be established on a collaborative basis in order to: provide the participants with another source of income and a reason to stay on the farm; help secure the future of the farm business; and stimulate enterprise in the Borders countryside. The evaluation aimed to review the progress that had been made in the Farm Venture project and to examine the adopted approach.


The methodology consisted of: interviews with two members of the BFRS project team; interviews with five individuals from each of the farm venture groups; and a review of the project reports and records.


Five farm venture groups have been established. The groups are at different stages of developing new businesses. Identifies a number of benefits to the group approach. Considered against the project objectives, the Farm Venture Project has fallen behind schedule. Out of the five groups, only one is approaching the point of business activity, demonstrating the time required for new collaborative business development. The use of local facilitators has proved beneficial. The project is facilitating knowledge and skills transfer, and is reaching farm businesses that have not participated in other initiatives. Over-all, the Farm Venture Project is proving to be of value. Expects that several new diversified businesses will have started by the conclusion of the project.


Recommends the continued provision of resources to maintain the delivery of the project. Suggests re-appraising the project objectives and setting new targets so that progress can be more easily monitored. Advises promoting the successes that arise out of the project. Looks at whether additional resources should be allocated to the project so that the rate at which groups are formed is accelerated. Considers how groups are targeted, based on the prospective participant’s experience of diversification and collaboration.

Author Scottish Agricultural Organisation Society (SAOS) Ltd
Published Year 2009
Report Type Evaluation
  • Enterprise
    Entrepreneurship/new firm formation, Social enterprise
  • Equity
    Rural Development