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Evaluating the delivery of the Business Gateway by the Forth Valley Consortium


Scottish Enterprise Forth Valley (SEFV) awarded the Business Gateway (BG) contract to the Forth Valley Consortium (FVC) in 2002. The BG aimed to deliver Business Start-up and Growth services in the Forth Valley by offering to businesses: promotional events; workshops and seminars; counselling; aftercare contacts; action plans; ad hoc advisory support; and financial assessment. The evaluation aimed to: establish the benefits of the integration of business support services in the Forth Valley area; review the performance and impact of the FVC over 2002-2003 and 2003-2004; appraise the structure and management of the new service delivery model; and identify the most appropriate method of service delivery for the future.


The methodology consisted of: an evaluation of the BG services in Forth Valley to review activities and outputs, management issues, and strategic fit of the BG; a benchmarking exercise to compare performance and service delivery models across different LEC areas (available information limited); a review of the service delivery model; and analysis and recommendations to inform the future delivery of the BG contract.


Maps the performance and impact over the first 2 years of the FVC contract. Considers the systems and management of the current delivery model and presents alternative models of delivery. Concludes that the FVC has generally performed well over the first two years of the contract. Endorses their ability to deliver the future BG contract. Assesses the implications for the future of the contract to deliver BG in the SEFV area.


Notes that there are a number of issues which should be addressed in the future tendering process. Suggests that there is a need for the future contract to: be clear on what information is to be collected and in what form this reporting should take place; reflect the time inputs required in order to effectively manage the delivery of the BG services; set aside a proportion of the total sum, in the region of 10%, to cover all of the management requirements; focus on directing support to businesses that are likely to be sustainable and to grow in order to establish value for money; and set out the roles and responsibilities of all of the key stakeholders in the BG.

Author DTZ Pieda Consulting
Published Year 2009
Report Type Evaluation
  • Enterprise
    Entrepreneurship/new firm formation, High growth entrepreneurship, Support to existing/growth businesses