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Evaluation of the Finance for Business Scheme

The Finance for Business programme (FFB) had been the main form of industrial assistance to companies in the Highlands and Islands of Scotland for over thirty years, representing an ideal example of a programme of industrial support designed to stimulate business activity in the countryside.

The study:

  • assessed the achievements of FFB building on a cost benefit approach
  • set out the gross and net benefits that arose from the programme as a whole and constructed a cost-benefit account
  • examined variations in effectiveness by key characteristics that we might expect on the basis of regional economic theory to be important influences
  • examined the mechanisms by which the programme has affected the enterprising behaviour of companies and the implications for policy formulation
  • summarised the advantages and limitations of the approach adopted to measure the effectiveness of this business support programme.