As we went into lock down in March, with support from J.P. Morgan, we teamed up with Newable to take a look at how London’s business support providers had responded to the COVID-19 crisis. This report summarises some of our work and presents some options and recommendations for next steps. A lot of this chimes with the findings of our business support mapping last year – the need for better coordination and signposting/referrals between providers for example, especially in the face of a plethora of new COVID-19 hubs, support services and events. And perhaps not surprisingly, there were concerns around duplication of provision and fears that there has been too much focus on breadth and not enough on depth or sustainable impact.
With so much business uncertainty and volatility it is almost impossible to predict what is needed. For me, one thing that really resonates is a need to move away from the traditional 3-year waterfall project management model where budget, outputs and activities are defined in detail at the outset. And move towards a more agile, responsive and flexible model of project delivery – perhaps one where outcomes and results are clear at the beginning, but how these are achieved can be constantly iterated and adapted to the macro socioeconomic context. It strikes me that one of the only potential silver linings in the looming Brexit cloud, is an opportunity for public and private sector funders to be more innovative in the way that they commission and oversee projects.
Please click HERE to download the report.
Please do share this work with anyone you think might be interested – policymakers and practitioners alike – and we will pick up this conversation ourselves in the Autumn through our regular events series. More info on that coming soon. Stay tuned and join our startup community also follow us on LinkedIn and Twitter.