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Evaluation of the Microcredit programme: consultants’ report


The Microcredit programme is a ‘targeted Women into Business product’. It seeks to tackle market failure on a number of levels, particularly for female-owned pre-and new-start businesses. The programme works in three key ways: by providing access to finance; by offering peer support through group learning; and through group lending. The evaluation aimed to test the effectiveness of programme value-add for clients. It sought to understand the qualitative and quantitative benefits from the programme, rather than the effectiveness of programme processes.


The evaluation methodology involved: desk research; an electronic survey; telephone interviews; and face-to-face interviews with key stakeholders.


The report concludes that the Microcredit programme has been a success. In assessing the programme’s performance it was found to have guiding principles that identify and target the nature of the disadvantage that females and vulnerable groups face when starting and running a business, and to have met its objectives. It was also found to have a robust reporting framework and have created up to 205 job equivalents. The evaluation highlights that Microcredit appears to offer value for money with a cost per job figure as low as £3,195.


Key recommendations from the report include advice that: Microcredit management should review how Microcredit is positioned and marketed within the Scottish Enterprise Network (SEN); Microcredit management should have a promotional strategy in place to show how Microcredit can enhance Business Gateway value added; Microcredit advisers need to be kept up-to-date on Scottish Enterprise (SE) strategy; programme management should consider linkages to higher education establishments to pave the way to self-employment; linkages between Microcredit and other SE and related programmes and networks should be explored; Microcredit management should revisit the content and delivery of programme training to ensure that e-business is embedded throughout; the Microcredit database should continue to be developed; and management should consider looking at formalising some of the training through achieving SQA accreditation.

Author Policy Research Network
Published Year 2009
Report Type Evaluation
  • Enterprise
    Entrepreneurship/new firm formation
  • Investment
    Debt investment/loans