Business Angel Networks
BANs are organisations that link businesses seeking finance with Business Angels who are high net worth individuals who invest on their own, or as part of a syndicate, in high growth businesses. In addition to money, Business Angels often make their own skills, experience and contacts available to the company. The Dragons on Dragons Den are Business Angels.
Black and Minority Ethnic
Black and minority ethnic - A term, sometimes contested* to describe people who constitute a statistical minority in the UK, eg Asian communities, African and Caribbean communities, Eastern European communities. BME is currently the favoured umbrella term used by government, strategic agencies and in policy and research documents *In London, there is a drive to use "BAME", Black, Asian and minority ethnic instead of BME
Business support for a minimum of 5 days or to the value of £2,500. Support includes advice and guidance, consultancy, events and business skills improvement.
A group of companies with a similar technology or product linked by specialist supply chains and training, finance and research facilities.
New businesses started and which have survived for at least 1 year.
The official national service that provides access to a wide network of business support and information services for new and small businesses. Since 2006 Regional Development Agencies have been given responsibility for the management of Business Link.
Community Development Finance Institutions
CDFIs are a new financial tool for social, economic and physical renewal in under-invested communities. They lend and invest in deprived areas and underserved markets that cannot access mainstream finance. Those operating in the West Midlands are members of the Fair Finance Consortium http://www.fair-finance.net
Cluster Opportunity Group
Decision making group providing strategic direction to a cluster for engaging with industry and developing opportunities to create or strengthen cluster relations between sectors.
Central Project Review Group
A joint DTI and HM Treasury Group that appraises and approves Advantage West Midlands funding for projects of £10 million and over.
Advantage West Midlands
The Regional Development Agency for the West Midlands. AWM's role is to lead the economic development of the West Midlands to create a better region for all.
Comprehensive Spending Review
The Comprehensive Spending Review is an in-depth examination of the Government's spending priorities to establish long-tem aims and objectives for each department. CSR 2007 will cover spending for 2008-2011 and follows the first CSR in 1997
Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
The Government Department responsible for the environment, food, the rural economy and championing sustainable development.
Data Protection Act
The Data Protection Act gives individuals the right to know what information is held about them, and sets out rules to make sure that this information is handled properly.
Department of Trade and Industry
The Government Department responsible for trade, business, employees, consumers, science and energy. It is the sponsor Department for RDAs.
Economic Activity Rate
Economic Activity Rate
The proportion of the working age population (16-60/64) that are either employed, self employed or actively seeking work (unemployed).
Economic Inactivity Rate
Economic Inactivity Rate
The proportion of the working age population (16-60/64) who are neither employed nor classified as unemployed. This includes students, those who are retired or looking after the home, and those in Incapacity Benefit or Severe Disablement Allowance.
Addressing the barriers such as low skills, poverty, access to job opportunities that prevent individuals and communities from contributing to and benefiting from the region's economic wealth.
The proportion of the working age population (16-60/64) who are in employment or who are self-employed.
The Enterprise Board is the main advisory body to Advantage West Midlands on all issues related to enterprise and business support.
European Regional Development Fund
The European Regional Development Fund was set up in 1975 to stimulate economic development in less prosperous regions of the EU. It has become a major instrument for helping to redress regional imbalances.
England Rural Development Programme
Provides new opportunities to protect and improve the countryside, develop sustainable enterprises and to help rural communities to thrive.
European Social Fund
Provides support for vocational training schemes through lifelong leaning and employee skill development, and job creation measures to address unemployment and disadvantage.
European Structural Funds
European Structural Funds
The EU's main instrument for supporting social and economic restructuring, the fund is used to tackle regional disparities and support regional development across the EU. The primary funds are ESF, ERDF and RDPE.
Education in the UK usually after the age of sixteen years. There are different levels of learning from very basic skills and many are concerned with work related training for commerce or industry. FE often provides an entry to university. There are many practical courses at a high level for technicians and business employees and managers.
Fair Finance Consortium
The FFC is a consortium of CDFIs and other alternative lenders of finance which make loans available to individuals and businesses which cannot access mainstream finance.
Freedom of Information
The Freedom of Information Act deals with access to official information. The legislation gives anyone the right to obtain information held by public authorities unless there are good reasons to keep it confidential, and therefore, exempt from the Act.
Gross Domestic Product
A measure of the net total output or income generated by an economy. It is broadly the same as GVA, but GDP includes taxes (less subsidies) while GVA does not.
Global Entrepreneurship Monitor
A research programme that provides an annual assessment of entrepreneurship across the world.
Grant for Research and Development
GRD is the successor to the DTI's earlier Smart Awards. It provides grant support for research or development work on technologically innovative products or processes, thereby encouraging businesses to carry out R&D activity that they might not otherwise undertake and by helping to lever in other private finance.
Representing 10 Whitehall departments, Government Offices are the primary means by which a wide range of policies are delivered in the English regions.
Gross Value Added
A measure of the net total output or income generated by an economy. Essentially it is the difference between the value of the goods and services produced in the economy and the cost of raw materials and other inputs which were used in their production.
Higher Education Institution
There are 13 HEIs in the West Midlands region, including universities and agricultural colleges.
A metric unit of measurement covering 10,000 square metres. It is equivalent to 2.4 acres or roughly equivalent to 1.5 football pitches.
High Technology Corridor
The three High Technology Corridors in the West Midlands develop links between research institutions and business. They aim to attract and develop high-technology, high value-added businesses to new buildings offering incubator and 'grow-on' space.
Information and Communications Technology
ICT is an umbrella term that includes any communication device or application, and may include radio, TV, cell phones, computer hardware and software and satellite systems, as well as associated services and applications, such as video conferencing and distance learning.
Investment Decision Group
A weekly sub group of the Corporate Management Team meetings (CMT is the key Executive Group of the Agency). IDG is chaired by the Deputy Chief Executive and Corporate Director for Finance. The role of IDG is to receive and agree projects. Monthly reports are provided to CMT.
Investors in People
An international, business driven standard offering public recognition that an organisation values its staff and that its people and our organisational strategies are integrated.
IP may be defined as products of creativity, innovation or R & D which can be given legal recognition of ownership through patents, copyright, design right or trademarks.
Independent Performance Assessment
The Independent Performance Assessment process is a means by which government assesses the efficiency and effectiveness of how RDAs are managed. The process is led by the National Audit Office.
Innovation Technology Council
Innovation Technology Council
The main advisory body to Advantage West Midlands on all issues related to innovation, science and technology.
Local Business Exchange
Investbx is a local business exchange that will offer investors the opportunity to invest in regional companies by providing access to investment opportunities in smaller companies at lower search and transaction costs.
Index of Sustainable Economic Well-being
A measure that adjusts the usual measure of economic performance - GVA - by costing various social and environmental factors (such as income distribution, household labour, spending on health and education, crime and environmental damage) to provide a broader measure of progress. This adjusted measure can then be compared to the UK performance using per capita figures.
These are permanent new jobs (ie the post not the person). They must be full time or equivalent (over 30 hours per week, but can be pro rata). The job can be counted when the post is filled and the post must have a life expectancy of more than 1 year.
The job must exist in the region before a project is committed and be forecasted to be lost to the region within one year if a project does not go ahead. The job must be in existence after a project and no longer at risk of being lost within one year.
Knowledge transfer or knowledge exchange usually refers to the process of getting information generated by research and development institutions into business or other organisations so they can make use of it to generate wealth. The term exchange is often used to reflect the fact that R&D can also make use of the knowledge within businesses to do better R&D
A council (district, metropolitan, city, unitary or county) responsible for providing public services to a community.
Local Area Agreements
Three-year agreements which set the priorities for a local area. LAAs are made between central government and a local area, represented by the Government Office, lead local authority and other key partners through Local Strategic Partnerships (LSPs)
A place on any vocational training or general educational course. The course need not lead to a formal qualification but should last for the equivalent of at least one week (30 hours).
Learning and Skills Councils
Learning and Skills Councils
Responsible for 16 plus education and training. In the West Midlands, LSCs co-ordinate their activity with the West Midlands Economic Strategy.
Local Strategic Partnership
Local Strategic Partnership - a non-statutory partnership in a local authority area that brings together a wide range of partners from the public, private, community and voluntary sectors to identify and address local issues.
European Funds meet only a proportion of the cost of any project. The precise proportion that the Funds will contribute depends on several factors, including the type of activity and where it takes place. Typically the funds can meet up to 50% of costs and more, though lower rates apply to certain types of activity. The rest of the cost of a project has to be funded from either public or private sector funds.
Manufacturing Advisory Service
Delivered through 10 regional centres, the DTI Manufacturing Advisory Service addresses the practical needs of British manufacturers by delivering hands-on advice and assistance from experts in a wide range of manufacturing disciplines. The West Midlands version is MAS-WM: http://www.mas-wm.org
National Audit Office
Scrutinises public spending on behalf of Parliament. The NAO undertakes Advantage West Midlands' Independent Performance Assessment.
Non-Departmental Public Bodies
Public bodies, usually established by an Act of Parliament, that carry out functions on behalf of Government They are not part of a government department and carry out their work at arm's length from Ministers, although Ministers are responsible to Parliament for the activities of bodies sponsored by their department. The Department of Trade and Industry is the sponsor department for RDAs.
National Vocational Qualification
Often used as a way of standardising different types of qualifications. NVQ Level 1 equivalent can be regarded as fewer than 5 GCSEs at grades A-C; NVQ Level 2 equivalent as more than 5 GCSEs at grades A-C; NVQ Level 3 equivalent as 2 or more A levels; NVQ Level 4 or above can be regarded as Higher National Diploma, Degree and Higher Degree level qualifications.
Supports areas facing economic change. It is the second highest level of funding available from the EU and covers nearly fourteen million people in the UK.
Develops labour markets and human resources and in addition, will help firms and workers adapt to new working conditions and so compete more effectively in global labour markets. It is directed at the long-term unemployed and those facing particular barriers to finding fulfilling employment because of their disability, racial origin, or sex.
The intended results of a project in terms of its key or ultimate objectives.
Those results immediately produced by a project. In the longer term, outputs often lead to outcomes.
A term used to explain the difference between the actual performance (in terms of GVA) of the West Midlands' economy and what the performance could be if the region operated at UK average levels.
A commitment by a public authority to make certain information available, and a guide to how that information can be obtained. All publication schemes have to be approved by the Information Commissioner.
Public Service Agreements
Agreements and targets made between the Treasury and central government departments and agencies. Each RDA is required to address priorities identified in their Regional Economic Strategies for the region and contribute to the delivery of the Government's PSA targets on Regional Economic Performance.
Public Sector Information
Documents, databases and other information (meteorological information, digital maps, traffic data, etc) produced, collected and stored by public sector bodies.
Research and Development
Can be divided into three activities: basic research - to acquire new knowledge, without any intended application or use; applied research - to acquire new knowledge for a specific practical aim or objective; and experimental development -drawing on existing knowledge to produce new products, install new processes or improve those in place.
Rural Access to Service Partnerships
Sub regional rural access to service partnerships, involving those who deliver access to services to improve rural service co-ordination and delivery.
Rural Development Programme for England
A European programme that helps deliver both the aims of the EU and the Government's Strategy for Sustainable Farming and Food.
Rural Development Service
Part of Defra that delivered the England Rural Development Programme (ERDP), designed to help communities and businesses adapt and grow sustainably. It is being transferred to RDAs this year.
Regional Assembles, sometimes referred to as Regional Chambers, were set up in the late 1990's at the same time as Regional Development Agencies were established. The relevant legislation in the 1998 Regional Development Agencies Act.
Regional Development Agency
There are nine RDAs in England that were established in 1999 to transform England's regions through sustainable economic development. All RDAs are non-departmental public bodies that are accountable to the Department of Trade and Industry.
Regional Economic Strategy
Every three to four years, each RDA produces a Regional Economic Strategy in consultation with a wide range of stakeholders. The RES defines the region's economic priorities and targets for delivering long-term sustainable economic growth. In London it is known as the Economic Development Strategy.
Private organisations or public sector institutions (eg universities) which derive income from performing Research and Development.
Regional Funding Allocations
Regional Funding Allocations are made by central government, based on advice by regional bodies on their spending priorities for transport, housing and economic development for the period 2005-2016
Regional Finance Forum
The RFF advises Advantage West Midlands on issues relating to improving access to finance for all types and size of businesses, but with a focus on small and medium sized enterprises and areas of private sector market failure.
Regional Housing Strategy
Decides where future housing investment in the region will take place.
Regional Skills Partnership
Regional Skills Partnerships aims to create a demand-led approach to skills and give regions the flexibility to tackle their own individual challenges and priorities. They are a major component of the National Skills Strategy set out in the March 2005 Skills white paper.
Regional Spatial Strategy
Part of the national planning system, providing a framework for the region on long-term land use and transport planning and guiding the preparation of Local Development Frameworks
There are six Regeneration Zones in the West Midlands covering areas of concentrated need - social deprivation and high unemployment - and substantial opportunity. Collectively, RZs cover a third of the region's population, half its unemployed, three-fifths of its long-term unemployed and the most deprived wards in the region.
A wider appraisal than the SEA, looking at the extent to which a strategy addresses the key principles of sustainable development (social, environmental and economic)
There are six designated Science Cities in England (Birmingham, Bristol, Manchester, Newcastle, Nottingham, York). They are cities and surrounding areas where there is a strong research base that can be used to help start, grow and attract businesses. AWM is investing in a number of projects to improve the capability of the science base in the region to meet the future needs of businesses, including collaborative projects between Warwick and Birmingham universities on energy, health and materials technologies.
Strategic Environmental Assessment
A legal requirement for certain plans and programmes to assess likely significant environmental impact and address them through mitigation measures. All Regional Economic Strategies are required to undertake an SEA
Selective Finance for Investment in England
A form of financial assistance available to businesses located in Assisted Areas in the UK for investment in capital expenditure. It replaced Regional Selective Assistance and the Enterprise Grant, with effect from 1 April 2004, and is run by Advantage West Midlands in the West Midlands region.
Surface Infrastructure of National Economic Importance
Surface Infrastructure of National Economic Importance was a report commissioned by the RDAs to help central government form a national transport infrastructure policy that took into account regional needs.
Since April 2002, RDAs have been financed through a Single Programme budget, the 'Single Pot'. This replaced the funding programmes that existed previously, pooling departmental funding into one single budget that allows RDAs to focus resources to achieve their regional priorities and objectives.
Small and Medium sized Enterprise
Small and Medium Enterprises. A small company is defined as employing less than 50 people; a medium company between 50 and 249 people.
A business with primarily social objectives whose profits are mostly reinvested in the business or in the community.
Funding from the EU to assist member states adjust to structural economic change (parts of the West Midlands are eligible for Objective 2 funding and Objective 3 applies to all of the EU).
The New RDA Tasking Framework requires each RDA to show in its Corporate Plan (for 2005-08) how it addresses priorities identified in the Regional Economic Strategy and its contribution to the delivery of the Government's PSA Targets.
Urban Regeneration Company
Independent companies set up by local authorities and RDAs to champion and stimulate new investment into areas of economic decline. Made up of local public and private sector partners, they also co-ordinate regeneration and redevelopment.
United Kingdom Trade and Investment
A Government organisation supporting UK firms to do business internationally and overseas enterprises seeking to set up or expand in the UK.
VC is medium to long-term finance provided in return for an equity stake in potentially high growth unquoted companies. There are a number of publicly funded VC funds operating in the West Midlands, most of which operate under the Advantage brand.
Value For Money
Measures efficiency and effectiveness. The number and quality of outputs should be reasonable for the cost compared with relevant benchmarks.
West Midlands Economic Strategy
The WMES sets the framework for regional partners to improve the economy and social welfare across the region.
Category including those who are unemployed or claiming incapacity benefit or severe disablement allowance
Zone Implementation Plan
ZIPs sets out the vision a Regeneration Zone has for its area and the projects and initiatives that are to be delivered to achieve that vision.