|Title||Evaluation of the Business Growth Centre and Small Business Smart Business Programs|
|Year of Publication||2011|
|Authors||Mazzarol, T, Benjamin, G|
|Publisher||Centre for Entrepreneurial Management and Innovation (CEMI)|
|Type||Industry Research Report|
|Keywords||business support, Small Business, training|
Research Report undertaken for the WA Department of Training and Workforce Development. The WA Government has long recognised the importance of the small business sector and has invested in a range of programs designed to assist small business operators to better manage their firms. Two of these programs included the Small Business Smart Business and Business Growth Centre initiatives. In 2011 CEMI undertook an evaluation of these two programs on behalf of the WA Department of Training and Workforce Development (DTWD).During August and September 2011 the CEMI consulting team was tasked to review the two programs to address the following terms of reference: i) What training support do small business owners need and is this need being met? ii) How well does each of the two services meet their contract requirements; and does this meet the training needs of their current clients? iii) When considering the broad network of support for the small business sector, are there any obvious gaps and/or duplications in functions and services? iv) What issues need to be considered if services are to be expanded to regional areas? v) What are the recommendations about the future of both services? The evaluation process involved a major review of the literature relating to training programs for small business and entrepreneurship education. Surveys of 200 clients of the SBSB and BGC programs and in-depth analysis of the BGC and SBSB client databases were also undertaken. There were also interviews and focus groups with key stakeholders, plus the preparation of regional case studies in the Great Souther, Mid-West and Goldfields regions. A review of a large number of written submissions from individuals and organisations was also part of this study.