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Report on the Evaluation of the Business Store, Inverclyde April 2004 – September 2006


The Business Store Inverclyde (BSI) was established in 2001 in Greenock to improve the Inverclyde Business community's access to an inclusive and joined up approach to the delivery of support services. The evaluation aimed to: assess progress against the original objectives for the BSI and an interim evaluation carried out during 2003/4; assess the extent to which the Business Store has contributed to the achievement of the objectives of the individual stakeholders involved; examine the effectiveness of the partnership working arrangements between the stakeholders; and provide feedback on the clients' experience of using the Store and the stakeholders' views of the working arrangement at the BSI.


The methodology consisted of a telephone survey of 100 of the 250 clients estimated to have engaged with the Store between 2004 and 2006; a similar survey of 60 non-user enterprises; and meetings and telephone consultations with 11 representatives of the partners involved.


The evaluation found that the following BSI objectives have been achieved: improving clients' access to support; addressing fragmentation in support delivered to clients; improved delivery through increased communication between partners; and encouraging networking amongst staff based at the BSI. Suggests that there is a largely improved perception of the BSI since the last evaluation. It is noted that other objectives have been partially achieved, including: developing a more inclusive and joined up approach; facilitating the partners' penetration of the Inverclyde market for business support services, although a number of clients became aware of the BSI through its location, more clients became aware through referral or word of mouth; provision of hot desk facilities to clients/Scottish Enterprise Renfrewshire (SER) - clients have made little use of these facilities whilst the lack of access to SE systems for SER staff at the BSI has not supported an increased presence at the BSI.


The report recommended that: the BSI Steering Group should be challenged to generate ideas on better promotion of the role and services of the BSI to the Inverclyde business community; a BSI mailing list be developed from the partners' client databases which could be used to promote the range of support services available to the business community; the web presence of the BSI should be reviewed; the respective roles of the Steering Group and the Communications Group should be clarified; the management and effectiveness of the Steering Group should be reviewed; consideration should be given to how successful collaboration/referrals between partner organisations are effectively recorded; the provision of facilities on offer to clients should be reviewed; and further development of the BSI as a venue for training and local business events should be considered.

Author Lindsay Dempster, Callum MacKinnon (T L Dempster Strategy and Research)
Published Year 2009
Report Type Evaluation
  • Enterprise
    Support to existing/growth businesses