Tag Archive: economic assessment

Jun 20 2016

Venture capital for low carbon businesses

We prepared the first phase of an ex ante evaluation of the Low Carbon Innovation Fund England (LCIF England) on behalf of the Adapt Low Carbon Group at the University of East Anglia. This was proposed as an early stage venture capital fund to back growth businesses which are developing innovative products or processes in a low carbon, environmentally sensitive manner. It was progressed in collaboration with a number of Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs) and intended to secure funding through European Union funding for 2014-20.

The concept of LCIF England was based on that of the successful Low Carbon Innovation Fund established under the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) programme for the East of England 2007-2014. This fund has matched £20.5m ERDF with over £50m private sector co-investment, assisting 72 companies to access risk capital.

Our research concentrated on a market assessment, of the demand and supply of risk capital for innovative businesses, set in the strategic and policy context. We made full use of  relevant small business and equity capital research and data sources, including the very valuable Beauhurst database of deal activity which allows analysis at the level of Local Enterprise Partnerships.

Plans for LCIF England have had to be changed dramatically in the light of changes in ERDF policy and delivery arrangements, with procurement decisions in the hands of individual LEPs. Our research, however, provides a platform for a number of LEPs in taking their own, joint funds forward.

Ex Ante Evaluation
For any new fund, or ‘Financial Instrument’ in EU terms, there is a requirement to prepare an ‘ex ante evaluation’. This work is designed to ensure the development of robust business case for any fund, while meeting government and EU requirements. Objectives include:

  • substantiating the case for public funding, based on evidence of market failure in addressing funding gaps for growth businesses and added value a fund can bring
  • ensuring that lessons are learnt from the experience of relevant early stage VC funds such as LCIF
  • informing how the Fund will work: its investment strategy, its governance and management, and how it will work in participating LEP areas

We carried out the ex ante evaluation in conjunction with Futureneering Ltd of Cambridge. Together, we bring complementary expertise in economic development, low carbon technologies, risk capital and evaluation.

Permanent link to this article: http://www.educe.co.uk/?p=1319

Feb 20 2016

Economic Growth Advisor

The Economic Growth Advisor (EGA) programme was introduced by the Local Government Association in 2014 to promote, facilitate and enhance the role of local authorities in delivering economic growth. Derrick Johnstone was recruited to the panel of EGAs, whose role has been to offer bespoke advice and support to individual local authorities.trdc-logo

Derrick advised Three Rivers District Council in Hertfordshire (see LGA case study):

  • providing a fresh look at the local evidence base around economic growth, contributing to an updated Economic Profile
  • preparing a ‘critical friend’ report to the Management Board recommending steps to sharpen the Council’s approach to economic development
  • identifying good practice advice on introducing a Business Charter
  • advising on the content and structure of a revised Economic Development Strategy.

The ‘critical friend’ role was particularly valued, highlighting how, in low cost ways, the Council can add more value in pursuit of economic growth.

Permanent link to this article: http://www.educe.co.uk/?p=1286

Jun 04 2011

Doncaster Work & Skills Plan

Derrick Johnstone advised Doncaster Council and the Work and Skills Steering Group of Doncaster Together on their Work and Skills Plan. This built on the Local Economic Assessment and set out to make the most of the added value of partnership working, in the context of far-reaching changes in funding and national policy. It provided the basis for discussions on the introduction locally of the DWP Work Programme, and prioritised action around employer engagement; labour market intelligence; information, advice and guidance; and targeted support for individuals and families. It has also informed the work of South Yorkshire Local Enterprise Partnership on skills.

Permanent link to this article: http://www.educe.co.uk/?p=278

Nov 21 2010

West Midlands regional worklessness network

Educe facilitated a range of learning and networking activities on worklessness in the West Midlands, funded by DWP and CLG through Improvement and Efficiency West Midlands (IEWM). The programme ran between September 2009 and October 2010, and sought to:
  • review learning and organisational development needs in tackling worklessness and impact
  • assist partnerships and practitioners developing the Future Jobs Fund, Work and Skills Plans and City Region planning on employment and skills
  • promote customer-focused innovation
  • help strengthen evaluation evidence and the transfer of effective practice
Activities included:
  • organising a regional conference, ‘Tackling Worklessness in an Age of Austerity’ (July 2010) to establish what ‘Total Place’ (TP) means in tackling worklessness, what can be learnt from the TP pilots and relevant experience in the region (featuring Birmingham, Wolverhampton and Worcestershire), and what actions are needed to drive greater impact and efficiency
  • providing advisory support for the City Region MAA Employment and Skills Plan on the evidence base, data sharing, planning, commissioning, and engagement of ‘wraparound services’ (especially health and housing) alongside mainstream employment and skills delivery
  • facilitating a regional Future Jobs Fund (FJF) network bringing together local authorities,  voluntary organisations and social enterprises with contracts to deliver FJF in the region.
Derrick Johnstone also ran a series of four workshops to support the preparation of Local Economic Assessments in the region, on themes of Worklessness; Sustainable Economic Prosperity; and Forecasts and Scenarios. These were promoted by West Midlands Leaders Board, REDOG (the Regional Economic Development Officers Group) and IEWM.Other elements of the worklessness network programme included:
  • Good Practice Review: pilot project being undertaken by RegenWM to work with practitioners to gather evidence of good practice in removing barriers to employment and increasing outcomes for particular groups, and how best to spread and embed ‘what works’.
  • Cannock Chase ‘demonstration project’ which has brought local partners together to use customer insight techniques to improve multi-agency service delivery.
  • evaluating-cost-effectiveness-of-worklessness-interventions: literature review and guidance prepared by West Midlands Regional Observatory
The programme was shaped by a regional steering group and linked in to the West Midlands Economic Inclusion Panel.

Permanent link to this article: http://www.educe.co.uk/?p=277

Sep 21 2010

Reducing Worklessness in Norfolk

We assisted Norfolk County Council and partners in developing the Worklessness Assessment and Framework for the county, in partnership with OCSI and Papworth Consulting.Elements of the work included:

  • analysis of changes in the Norfolk labour market, needs and barriers amongst disadvantaged groups
  • customer research, focusing on the needs and experiences of individuals from different groups and parts of the county
  • pulling together information on current worklessness provision in the county, building on a regional mapping project undertaken by the University of Glasgow
  • reviewing the implications of a changing policy environment
The Worklessness Assessment fed into the Norfolk Economic Assessment and the County’s Child Poverty Assessment and Strategy. The work subsequently provided a basis for influencing the delivery of the Work Programme in the county.

Permanent link to this article: http://www.educe.co.uk/?p=258

Jul 12 2009

Factors driving area-based analysis

Derrick Johnstone presented on the theme of ‘Identifying the drivers behind the demand for area-based analysis: making the connections’ at the Association of Regional Observatories networking event in Birmingham on 25 June 2009. This provided an opportunity to reflect on our work in Educe on local analysis and research over the previous two or three years, drawing out key issues for regional observatories. Derrick’s presentation can be downloaded here.

Permanent link to this article: http://www.educe.co.uk/?p=249

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