External Evaluation Tender Brief

  1. Project Background

The Inspiring Enterprise and Growth Project is funded under Investment Priority 3a European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) Programme – “Promoting entrepreneurship, in particular by facilitating economic exploitation of new ideas and fostering the creation of new firms, including through incubators”.

The project aims to equip 550 potential entrepreneurs and 225 fledgling small and medium enterprises or social enterprises (up to 3.5 years in existence) in London with skills and competences to become more enterprising, start up new businesses/social enterprises and grow to ensure their sustainability.

The project’s key objectives are:

  • To support 550 potential entrepreneurs through a mix of diagnostic, prestart incubation experience; a programme of ‘concept to realisation’ workshops and other specialist support tailored to each individual entrepreneur’s ambitions and support needs, to become enterprise ready.
  • To support 225 fledgling SMEs/social enterprises through business reviews; strategic business planning; and SMART actions and targets; and other tailored specialist support directing the business to a higher sustainable growth.
  • To support 225 enterprises (including 110 new enterprises registered in less than a year) with non-financial support to create 75 FTE new jobs and 16 introducing new to the market products.
  1. Project Description

2.1. The project runs from 1st October 2016 until 31st March 2022 (however, project activities end in December 2021) with a total budget of £3,815,000 including match funding.

2.2. Project activities:

Delivery of project activities started in January 2017, however in December 2019 the project was extended to March 2020 with project activities end date of December 2021.

The key delivery activities are as follows:

  1. Outreach recruitment and introduction to IEG
  2. Diagnostic assessment and action planning
  • All potential entrepreneurs and SMEs/social enterprises on joining the project will undergo a thorough diagnostic assessment, resulting in an action plan for each of them
  1. Specialist support
  • Each potential entrepreneur will receive a minimum of 12 hours assistance support and each SME/social enterprise will receive a minimum of 12 hours specialist business support related to their individual needs This support will include business testing//business ideas viability; business to business matching and networking; business counselling/coaching; access to other funding and industry networks and workshops.
  1. Exit and aftercare

This will Include signposting, referrals to other business support agencies and for any other aftercare.

 

2.3. Performance Indicators: April 2020-March 2022

Code

Description

Target

Measure

P11

Number of potential entrepreneurs assisted to be enterprise ready

200

Number of potential entrepreneurs (individuals) completing at least 12 hours of support

C1

Number of enterprises (SMEs or social enterprises) receiving support

75

Number of enterprises completing at least 12 hours of support

C4

Number of enterprises (SMEs or social enterprises) receiving non-financial support

75

Number of enterprises completing more than 12 hours of support

C5

Number of new enterprises (SMEs or social enterprises) registered or trading in less than a year receiving support

40

Number of new enterprises completing at least 12 hours of support

C8

Employment increase in supported enterprises

25 FTE

Job created as result of activity of the project   

C28

Number of enterprises supported to introduce new products to market

10

This is a subset of C1

The enterprise should self- declare that the product/service is new to the market and the date product was launched and further documentation such as marketing information or literature

 

  1. Background and Rationale to the Evaluation

3.1. Purpose

This tender brief is for the second phase of the external evaluation of the project to cover the extended period from April 2020 to March 2022 (total budget of £1.1m for the extended period). However, it is expected that it will be informed by the first phase of the evaluation.  

The external evaluation is required to enable LTEN and its partners to assess the impact of its activities on potential entrepreneurs and SMEs and or social enterprises supported. In addition, it will be used to learn what works well, which can be used to further develop project activities and report to the GLA and the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG).  

3.2. Key audiences

The audiences encompass the DCLG, GLA, potential entrepreneurs, SMEs, and social enterprises. It is recognised that the diversity of audience will present challenges for the evaluation and innovation will be necessary.

  1. Key Aims of the Evaluation Project

The specific aims of this evaluation are as follows:

  • Context and market failure assessment – to continually verify that the challenges and policies the project seeks to address are unchanged or, to detect changes and incorporate these into the developing project.
  • Rationale – underpinning the project plan and delivery activities. Assessment of validity will ensure that activities remain relevant throughout the project.
  • Inputs – assessment of value for money and the quality of activities delivered – an essential element of project management to ensure the project achieves high standard outputs and outcomes
  • Outputs – these will be measured continually to ensure the project is on track
  • Outcomes – these are as stated in the logic model.
  • Impacts (intended and unintended) – this will be monitored carefully and linked to the changes the project aims to bring about.

Also, we will monitor and evaluate:

  • achievements against objectives of the operational programme, and needs and expectations of the participants
  • performance on cross cutting themes (equal opportunities and sustainable development)
  • aspects of service delivery which are working well, and lessons learnt.
  1. Key Research Questions and Methodology

We would like the evaluation to answer questions as stated in the ERDF Summative Assessment Report template (attached) and develop a research methodology that will deliver the insights. Bidders will be expected to identify the economic analytical tools/statistical methods that are proposed to meet the specification output requirements outlined throughout this document. 

  1. Potential Data Sources

Sources of data for the evaluation include:

  • Full Application Form
  • Project Engagement Visit report/project change request form
  • Project monitoring documents
  • Minutes of the Project Steering Group meetings
  • Quarterly project claims
  • Quarterly progress reports
  1. Timescales for the Evaluation

The key milestones below provide a framework that the successful bidder will be expected to follow to deliver the evaluation report.

Key project milestones

Project deadline

Invitation to tender

2 December 2020

 

Deadline for receipt of tenders

 

 16 December 2020

Contract award

 

January 2021

Work commences

 

January 2021

Interim Report submission

 

December 2021

Interim Report submission

 

September 2021

Final Report submission  

March 2021

 

  1. Specific Requirements

Bidders will be required to submit detailed proposals demonstrating:

  • Understanding of the brief and its context
  • Proposed research and evaluation methodology
  • Detailed work plan
  • Evidence of previous relevant evaluation experience
  • Evidence of individual study team members’ qualifications, skills and experience; individual roles and responsibilities within the study team and their input at each stage of the work.
  1. Reporting

The evaluation will be managed by LTEN and the work will be coordinated through the project steering group. The project steering group will oversee the evaluation with the purpose of facilitating the evaluation and validating findings as they emerge. 

The project steering group will meet to discuss the evaluation at key stages (linked to the delivery of key outputs) to review progress.

We expect organisations to submit their proposals with costings of the work they will carry out including day rates, VAT if applicable and the production of the report(s).

LTEN will negotiate the final budget to be allocated to this work with the external evaluator.

  1. Ownership of the Research

Ownership of the research will rest with LTEN as will any data produced as a result of the evaluation. The project steering group will decide on any publication of the evaluation report.

  1. Data Protection and Ethics

It is the responsibility of the successful bidder to ensure that the proposed methodology does not contravene the provisions of the Data Protection Acts in member states. Contractors will also be expected to abide by appropriate professional guidelines.

  1. Criteria for the selection of tenders.

Each bid will be judged against:

  • Value for money
  • Understanding of the research issues
  • A clear grasp of the wider policy context of the work
  • Appropriate research experience in evaluation.
  • Demonstrated ability to meet the timescale.
  1. Submittal of Tenders

Please email your proposal clearly marked as Tender for Evaluation of the ERDF Inspiring Enterprise and Growth Project to Cynthia Hyman (Cynthia@lten.org.uk).  They must arrive no later than 5pm 16th December 2020.