Theme 3: Enterprise
Enterprise and an entrepreneurial culture are central to the development of a successful local economy that relies on the creation of wealth by its local businesses. This theme encompasses the support of new and existing businesses with the emphasis on the creation of new businesses and productivity improvements in existing businesses. This will lead to the creation of quality jobs that in turn will require highly skilled people. There are therefore obvious links to the ‘Skills & Aspirations’ and ‘Employment’ themes if we are to ensure that local people benefit from the creation of these successful businesses. The ‘Property’ aspect is also important to ensure that we not only have the necessary mix of commercial premises to support start-up businesses as well as ‘grow on’ space but also the appropriate broadband infrastructure to support developing businesses and attract inward investors.
Over the last few years we have seen improvements in enterprise development and entrepreneurial culture as well as a more diversified economy. However, business start-ups remain below the national average and the area underperforms as regards productivity. There is therefore a continuing need to support start-up and established businesses to improve this performance. Programmes of support such as LEO over the last few years have shown the benefit of more intensive ‘face to face’ support. However, the business support landscape is changing given the current economic climate with a move towards more web based support and involvement of the private sector. There is therefore a challenge to try and retain some of the more successful intensive support schemes that appear to provide a benefit through such funding as ERDF and sustainability of the successful parts of the LEO programme.
Improvements in business start-up rates and productivity of local businesses leading to a more diversified and competitive business sector.
Measures of success
Improvements in business start-up and survival rates, productivity, job creation and average wage rates.
Targets are listed against individual items in the action plan.