The consortium partners came together in 2011, ambitious to deliver national programmes.
Great emphasis has been placed on strong and effective governance with Cavendish Enterprise being chaired by Kevin Horne, Nwes, a former chairman of the National Network, and each of the regional consortia members leading in areas where significant expertise could be evidenced.
Major decisions and strategic discussions are held at Board level by senior representatives of the seven partner organisations. The Board meets at least six times each year. The progress of the delivery of Cavendish Enterprise programmes forms a vital part of Board discussions and actions for the partners and the Operations Group (also consisting of representatives of the partners) are agreed and followed up.
The Operations Group has established a full set of management systems and operational staff members have been trained in their use and in subsequent monitoring and reporting.
The governance arrangements are not novel but they have been applied with rigour and consistency and where external events have generated unforeseen challenges, the Board has dealt with them openly and transparently.
The set of management systems developed for the programme is fully operational across all aspects of the consortium’s work. These management systems meet the requirements of:
- BIS with regard to monitoring and the management of output and funds
- the law as it applies to any aspect of the programme, e.g. Data Protection
- the requirements of any partners in respect of data security
- operational requirements to ensure effectiveness and efficiency
Cavendish Enterprise has demonstrated its ability to govern, manage and deliver a major national investment readiness support programme to people seeking to start new businesses through the administrative framework provided by the Regional Growth Fund. The ingredients enabling the successful delivery of a Round 2 programme can be carried forward and updated to meet the requirements of Round 6 without delays to implementation, enhancing the opportunities for job and private sector growth over the period.
Cavendish Enterprise establishes a robust approach to programme management from the beginning. For that reason it is important to set out an indicative timetable. The consortium is able to mobilise its resources very quickly can begin to prepare for the delivery of a scheme as soon as a positive recommendation was received.
Consortium partners manage a range of business incubators that have led to the generation of a significant number of new jobs. Many of the businesses have been tracked for several years and one of the most important findings is that the majority of those new jobs have been created locally and stayed locally. Unless the businesses change ownership and/or control, they are generally much more sustainable in the local context than larger, more footloose, businesses.
Cavendish Enterprise takes evaluation very seriously. We played an active role in the Randomised Controlled Trial of the Growth Vouchers programme through the Data Management Group and we are committed to understanding ‘what works’ in supporting businesses to thrive and grow.
Programme Divisional Leads: For the purposes of the most recent programme, Ready for Business, the responsibilities were designated as follows:
- BBV was responsible for the largest delivery area, the North West, and as a result took on no additional specialist management functions
- Business West provided the formal governance support through the management of finances, contracts and, jointly with Nwes, the company secretarial functions
- Enterprise First jointly led in marketing matters with NEN
- The National Enterprise Network jointly led in marketing matters with Enterprise First
- NBV led on the management of operational planning and delivery
- Nwes was jointly responsible for company secretarial functions
- TEDCO Business Support provided the quality management and evaluation functions