Liverpool’s enterprise programmes are over-achieving
Council’s enterprise programmes are highly effective and helping to
generate significant value to the city’s economy, according to a new
independent report. The programmes delivered for the city
council by BusinessLiverpool are, according to the research by WM
Enterprise Consultants, also highly cost-effective and equipping
people with new skills and confidence.
BusinessLiverpool commissioned an evaluation of the micro-enterprise
support activities funded by the city council following a
competitive tendering process. VW Enterprise Consultants
assessed the quantitative economic impacts of programmes funded via
the network of Community-Based Economic Development agencies (CBEDS)
between 2003 -2007 and a qualitative evaluation of the kinds and
levels of business support provided by the CBEDS.
The report states:- “That the programmes were highly effective
at helping people become self-employed or to start small businesses
and that a neighbourhoods approach did make a contribution to
overcoming social exclusion by targeting/assisting excluded or
under-represented groups." It also states: “That
the programmes were highly cost-effective. Not only was the
cost-per-job low in relative terms (£2500-£3000) but many created
lasted at least 3 years.
The consultants also
found that even where a beneficiary did not start a business or the
business failed, the support given enabled them to return to the
labour market with new skills or confidence.
Cllr Flo Clucas, executive member for economic development and
Europe, said:- “If Liverpool is going to step up to another
level we need to create more businesses and more jobs, not just in
the city centre, but in our outlying areas too. This work is of
great importance therefore and clearly we are on the right tracks.
We must further strengthen the conditions that allow more businesses
to start, grow and become more competitive. Liverpool must be a city
which offers an exceptional quality of life and opportunity and
economically sustainable communities contributing to and sharing in
wealth creation. And that means tapping into potential,
breaking cycles of worklessness, building social enterprise, and
enabling new routes to work, training and business to be created. “
Through phone surveys and sampled emails coupled with evaluation of
monitoring information held by BusinessLiverpool, the consultants
· 75% of the respondents rated the support given as ‘good’ or
‘excellent’, with women and BME entrepreneurs consistently
rating the support given the highest (ie tailored/bespoke support
· The Muslim Enterprise Development Service had 88.9% rating its
services ‘good’ or ‘excellent’, with The Eldonians
(North Liverpool area) scoring a 77.3% good or excellent rating.
· Levels of satisfaction were higher in 2006/07 than in previous
years (the program is improving).
Mike Taylor, chief executive of BusinessLiverpool said:- “One
clear message behind the satisfaction ratings were the personal
relationships developed with business advisors and the fact that
they were ‘extremely helpful’ to clients. As many as
78% of people supported by the programs then went on to start a
business which is an extremely high conversion rate and is extremely
Our work adopts a person-centred and business-centred approach to
the generation of wealth and economic activity through enterprise.
The Liverpool City Region is enjoying exciting and positive growth
and we are determined to ensure that the benefits and opportunities
are enjoyed by local people. It is hoped that we will get even
greater returns on our efforts as the multi-million pound StepClever
initiative kicks in.”
The report also detailed the economic impacts from 2003 to 20007,
which generated significant outcomes benefiting Liverpool’s
neighbourhood economies, as follows:-
· The programmes helped create 1255 new jobs and safeguard 1483 jobs
· The programmes
helped to create 801 businesses and assisted 1605 existing
generated £18.2m in economic activity annually of which £5.7m comes
from women-owned businesses and £2.7m from BME-led businesses
· Support to existing businesses helps protect or facilitate the
generation of £32.6m of economic activity annually.
· The consultants found a very highly survival rate of 80% after 3
years and attribute this to the customised design of the business
support program to meet individual needs.
· Around 30% of beneficiaries of the programs were women. Of the
more than 2800 jobs supported in various ways, 646 (23%) were in
women-owned businesses. The GVA of new and existing businesses owned
by women and supported by the programs is £6.95m annually
· The consultants identified that around 9% of beneficiaries were
from an ethnic minority. 110 new businesses were created and
significantly more existing businesses assisted. The GVA of new and
existing BME-owned businesses supported by the program is £5.4m
Country Living Magazine campaign highlights dangers of isolating
children from natural world
Magazine has launched a campaign in the wake of alarming research
that shows UK children are losing touch with the natural
environment, a loss that could damage their wellbeing and the future
of the countryside.
The Bring Back the
Nature Table campaign, sponsored by Jordans Cereals, is designed to
reconnect children with nature by encouraging all UK schools to set
up nature tables. Nature tables, complete with sticky buds, catkins
and pussy willow, were once common in primary school classrooms.
Country Living Magazine says the loss of nature tables is just the
tip of the iceberg and more needs to be done to raise awareness of
health and societal costs of children’s isolation from the natural
According to research recently conducted by the magazine, 45% of all
UK parents and grandparents surveyed took their children out for a
regular walk. And few (48%) actually took the time to stop and look
at wildflowers or insects with their children. 31% of those parents
and grandparents surveyed said their children wouldn’t even know
what pussy willow was.
The magazine has also enlisted industry expert - GP and strategic
health advisor for Natural England, Dr William Bird, who says
children have lost so much contact with the natural environment that
they are more familiar with cartoon characters than British
wildlife. “Getting out into green spaces is absolutely
vital for children, for their mental state and wellbeing.
We have an innate connection with the natural
environment and this means that nature has the ability to recharge
us. But over the years, nature has been squeezed out of school
timetables and parents and grandparents have stopped taking children
on nature walks in parks, fields and woodland.
I think the Bring
Back the Nature Table campaign is really important in helping
children re-connect with this beneficial health boost.” says Dr Bird.
Dr Bird says research has shown that green spaces can not only boost
children's wellbeing, but also help ease aggression and prevent
bullying in the playground. “Studies have actually shown
that green spaces can boost a child’s concentration and calm them
down. On an asphalt playground, it will be the biggest and loudest
child that dominates.
But if you let
children play around trees and bushes, they will congregate around
the more creative one – the one who’s catching tadpoles or building
a den.” says Dr Bird.
Country Living Magazine’s editor, Susy Smith says:- “Country
Living Magazine is concerned by the increasing number of today’s
children who are missing out on the benefits that nature provides to
their health and mental wellbeing.
We hope the Bring Back the Nature
Table campaign will help children to reconnect with nature and not
only reach their full potential, but also help safeguard the
countryside for future generations.”
Bill Jordans, founder of Jordans Cereals and Pensthorpe Nature
Reserve, who was greatly influenced by nature as a child, says:-
"Growing up at our family flour mill in the heart of rural
Bedfordshire, I saw first hand the damage that intensive arable
farming had done.
At Jordans we started selling organic cereal in
the early 1970s and put specific wildlife-friendly farming practices
at the heart of our company in the mid 1980s.
My hope now is that by
encouraging children to engage with the natural world they will do a
much better job of looking after our countryside in the future than
my generation has done in the past!"
As part of the campaign, Country Living Magazine is also holding a
competition for Best School Nature Table (open to primary and junior
schools throughout the UK) and Best Home Nature Project. The
magazine has also dedicated 30 March as the official ‘Bring Back
the Nature Table Day’, which will include guided walks
throughout the country and a free field guide with the April issue
of Country Living Magazine.
The campaign, which is also supported by environmental education
charity, the Field Studies Council, will be promoted at the Country
Living Spring Fair in Islington, London from 12 March 2008 to 16 March
Jordan will also be giving a talk about the campaign during the
Country Living has also set up its own office nature table complete