The development of growing, resilient and ambitious businesses lies at the heart of economic development strategy and is a core objective of government policy, as well as those propelling growth and specialisation within regions and localities. A buoyant and enterprising business base offers many benefits to the economy, society and environment, from job creation, increased innovation capacity and inward investment potential to labour market attractiveness and the transfer of wealth to local communities. To deliver this, policy and investment must be directed in an evidence-led way.

  • Overview
  • How we help
  • Who we work with


Within our Economics Consulting team, we have a well-developed service offering that supports enterprise development and sector growth. We apply data, analytics and critical thinking to support clients with the development of enterprise – large and small – within the UK, Ireland and beyond. Our work plays a key role across a number of public and private sector contexts, with the aim of enhancing economic prospects, promoting growth, supporting specialisation and driving up the competitiveness of sectors, clusters and centres of enterprise. We have a depth of experience in using research to understand sector enterprise prospects, barriers to growth, skill needs, infrastructure requirements and as a result, developing compelling cases for investment.

How we help

Through our research capabilities and understanding of the factors that drive enterprise development, we are positioned to develop policies, strategies and interventions that support greater productivity, sector competitiveness and economic diversification. We are passionate about using research and data to progress the development of places, propel enterprise and entrepreneurship, unlock innovation potential and to ensure inclusive growth opportunities benefit all across society. We achieve this through the delivery of assignments across our core service areas, with each nuanced and tied to place.

  • Programme and policy evaluation – to understand how, why and to what extent policies and interventions have enabled enterprise development, sector growth and entrepreneurship.
  • Economic qualification intelligence forecasting – to build a picture of existing sector and business capability, specialisation, growth potential and relative competitiveness.
  • Theory based methods for impact evaluation – to deepen knowledge of the factors driving competitiveness, enterprise development needs, and the potential for the growth of existing and new sectors.
  • Feasibility studies and option appraisals – making the case for investment and project development, based on market failures, demand and economic development opportunity.
  • Policy and strategy development – ensuring enterprise development and business competitiveness is at the heart of ambitious and action-focused economic development strategies.

We use the latest tools and datasets to develop a rich picture of capability, opportunity and need, and regularly evaluate projects to determine their impact, success and help shape the focus of successor programmes. We also help clients to ensure business support interventions are established based on the economic and strategic rationale, to ensure projects deliver specifically for places and people.

Who we work with

We regularly deliver enterprise development assignments for clients across the public and private sector, emphasising an approach which is collaborative and objective.

  • Government – including major Westminster and devolved government departments:
    • evaluating enterprise development programmes and policies.
  • Regional agencies – such as those tasked with delivering economic development at scale:
    • developing economic strategies that emphasise the need for enterprise support.
  • Local Enterprise Partnerships – who lead on the delivery of sub-regional growth and prosperity:
    • building the case for investment in business support projects and infrastructure.
  • Local Authorities – providing research capability to councils and combined authorities:
    • developing research to understand local capability and sector competitiveness.
  • Private sector – businesses large and small including corporates and start-ups:
    • co-designing, feasibility testing and developing enterprise development projects.
  • Third sector – on behalf of social enterprise, charities and not-for-profits:
    • undertaking qualitative research to understand business support priorities.