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Longitudinal national evaluation of CompeteFor: interim evaluation


The CompeteFor (CFOR) free service consisted of three interventions: a web-based Electronic Brokerage System (EBS), to ensure that all members of the UK’s business community had access to, and could compete for, Olympics business opportunities; the Supplier Engagement Programme, which aimed to promote awareness of 2012 Olympic contract opportunities and maximise the number of businesses, particularly small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs), registering and proceeding to publish their profile on CompeteFor; and the Buyer Engagement Programme, which, through the work of the Buyer Engagement Team, aimed to meet and encourage prospective buyers to post contract opportunities on CFOR and to operate a transparent procurement process for Olympic tenders. This report aimed to provide a regional overview for Scotland of the interim findings of the CompeteFor intervention's longitudinal evaluation.


The national evaluation methodology consisted of: measurement of interim intervention impacts and an evaluation of process effectiveness; a nationally representative supplier survey; a small number of supplier case studies; a programme of stakeholder consultation; and work with the Office of National Statistics to link the CompeteFor registered firms to the Business Structures Database (to allow for a more comprehensive assessment of the supplier profile). The report summarised the main findings of the survey of Scottish firms, compared to the national survey responses: 346 interviews were conducted with CompeteFor suppliers located in Scotland.


The report finds that, between 2008 and 2011, Scottish Enterprise invested £593,167 in the CompeteFor intervention, delivered on its behalf by the London Development Agency. By Feb 2011, 129,943 suppliers had registered with CompeteFor, and of these, 2.9 per cent (3,771) were located in Scotland (accounting for approximately 1.6 per cent of all businesses in Scotland). The report suggests there has been a marked improvement in the proportion of organisations shortlisted and winning contracts since the baseline stage. Fifty per cent of Scottish survey respondents stated they could not access contracts as they were hindered, to some extent, by not meeting the core entry criteria in relation to size of workforce, quality of ICT, extent of insurance cover, financial standing, etc. In terms of the awareness and understanding of CompeteFor, business support seminars and direct marketing in Scotland continues to have a greater regional awareness than seen on average across other regions. Overall satisfaction levels with CompeteFor are marginally higher in Scotland than nationally, but lower than at the baseline stage. The report finds that it is not possible to report on the overall net economic impact of CompeteFor in Scotland. Scottish beneficiaries continued to cite marginally lower behavioural benefits than those reported at a national level. The report suggests that the links between business support in Scotland and firms registered on CompeteFor is limited - overall, 9 per cent of all survey respondents from Scotland cited that they had been provided with some level of support from the Business Support Agency.


There were no recommendations as this was not within the remit of the report.

Author The Evaluation Partnership; OMB Research; Mark Hart, Aston Business School; Stephen Roper, Warwick Business School
Published Year 2011
Report Type Evaluation
  • Enterprise
    Support to existing/growth businesses