Tender for AI for SMEs programme: Case Worker

1. Background

Capital Enterprise 

Capital Enterprise is the membership organisation for providers of enterprise support services in London. Capital Enterprise’s prime mission is to support its members to individually and collectively acquire the means and expertise to better support their clients – London’s Entrepreneurs.

Our network of London’s leading universities, accelerators, co-working spaces, colleges, local authorities, enterprise support organisations, is a community of organisations committed to making London the best place in Europe to start and scale a business.

Capital Enterprise and its members provide a wide range of support services including advice, training, mentoring, accelerator programmes, specialist technical expertise, networking, soft loan finance and incubator accommodation to both pre-start and trading entrepreneurs and small businesses in all 33 London Boroughs.

We are a not-for profit organisation owned by, and run for the benefit of, members. Capital Enterprise is funded through members subscriptions, third party sponsorship and by income received from public/private sector partners to develop, pilot and manage innovative programmes that support enterprises and entrepreneurs in London.


AI for SMEs programme

The ‘AI for SMEs’ programme will employ a randomised control trial to allow policymakers to understand how to encourage the adoption of AI amongst SMEs, and what the difference in outcomes is between Stream 1: a ‘market convening’ event series, where AI vendors can demonstrate the value of their products and case studies and Stream 2: a ‘targeted intervention’ involving caseworker support and £1,000 innovation voucher credit. A third group will be assigned as the control group, receiving a basic level of information on the relevant technologies to incentivise participation. SMEs will be randomly assigned between the control and two treatment groups.

Our interventions will target two lower-productivity sectors in London: retail and hospitality which in 2016 represented 791,000 jobs in London, or 16% of the total jobs in the city.

We will limit the project to two AI technologies – chatbots and marketing automation. These are the most tried and tested AI deployments available. There is a well developed market in these products, focusing heavily on our chosen sectors and a significant evidence base to back up the productivity claims it makes. These technologies are also particularly relevant to the sectors we have chosen.

SMEs participating in the study will be allocated via block randomisation to one of three groups: Stream 1, Stream 2 and the control. We will seek to examine the causal effects of our proposed interventions on the adoption of AI technologies, perceptions of these technologies and long-term firm performance.

The hypothesis we are testing is that underinvestment by SMEs in productivity-enhancing AI technologies is driven by a lack of information, motivation, financing constraints and risk aversion. The proposed interventions seek to address these barriers. In doing so, they will increase technology adoption that in turn improves firm performance and innovation.

We will test this logic model with a RCT. The primary outcome during this phase of the evaluation is whether or not the SME adopts relevant AI technology at 4 months following intervention. We will also measure perceptions of technology and self-reported measures of firm performance including whether there has been wider innovation/technology adoption.


2. Project Delivery:

Capital Enterprise will deliver Stream 2 by deploying an Applied AI Case Worker on this project. Their job will be to work exclusively with randomly assigned SMEs in order to advise and support these SMEs to choose the appropriate Chatbot or Marketing AI supplier and then to support the deployment of the technology within their firms. The case worker will act as an independent technical adviser as well as helping the SME to;

  1. Calculate the potential productivity gain and establish the economic business case (including investment payback period) derived from the deployment of the AI technology in their business
  2. Assist them with any technical related questions

The Case Worker will engage with 75 companies on an average of one days support per company over a 5 month period.


3. Specification Requirements

Bidders will be required to submit detailed proposals demonstrating:

  • Understanding of the brief and its context;
  • Proposed project plan including expected stages of SME interaction, economic business impact assessment and associated timelines.
  • Proposal for how you will record your interactions to use as supporting evidence of activity;
  • Evidence of previous relevant RCT experience;
  • Evidence of previous relevant AI consultancy experience;
  • Evidence of individual team members’ qualifications, skills and experience; individual roles and responsibilities within the study team and their input at each stage of the work
  • Costings


4. Presentation of the Tender

Your proposals should be submitted to Lizzy Robins via email – Lizzy@capitalenterprise.org

All those who tender will receive an email confirmation of the receipt of their tender. The closing date for applications is Wednesday 16th January 2019


5. Further Information

If you would like any further information you should contact Lizzy Robins on Lizzy@capitalenterprise.org. Any information provided to you will be communicated in an anonymous fashion to all those invited to tender.

The closing date for applications is Wednesday 16th January 2019