Knowledge Exchange for Better Business (KE4BB) Evaluation – West Northants (Interim Report)

Research output: Book/ReportCommissioned Report


The project entitled ‘Knowledge Exchange for Better Business (West Northants KE4BB) – West Northants’ focuses on improving the productivity and competitiveness of small businesses through a tailored menu of knowledge exchange activity. The programme is funded by the UK Community Renewal Fund and beneficiaries of the programme are SMEs with under 50 employees, classified here as ‘small businesses’. West Northants KE4BB focuses the exchange of knowledge and expertise between the University, its partners and local SMEs, with the objectives of increasing their competitiveness, developing innovative practices, and driving increased productivity. It creates future employment opportunities through engagement with the University and its network of trusted partners, thus promoting the National Industrial Strategy and driving economic growth.

This report represents interim data on the efficacy and impact to date of West Northants KE4BB, based upon data gathered between December 2021 and October 2022. Specifically, this evaluation aims to assess:
•The extent to which support benefits SMEs and wider stakeholders.
•The extent to which support helps businesses access knowledge exchange, improving competitiveness and increase productivity.
•The extent to which short and long-term change are gained through the support (see Appendix B Theory of Change for detail on expected changes).

The University of Northampton’s ‘Institute for Social Innovation and Impact’ (ISII) is delivering the ongoing monitoring and evaluation project with the aim to answer the above questions and identify the impact of the West Northants KE4BB. As noted, this report represents interim findings and so caution should be noted in interpreting some of the trends, until the dataset is further enhanced through new data collection (qualitative interviews and analysis are currently being held with key stakeholders and beneficiaries). The report focuses upon providing an overview of literature, outline of the ISII’s approach to the research design and methodology, followed by presentation of the interim quantitative and qualitative data. The report ends with an overview of the key findings and some key recommendations for the West Northants KE4BB in terms of delivery and impact.
Original languageEnglish
PublisherUniversity of Northampton Institute of Social Innovation and Impact
Number of pages23
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2022


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