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Evaluating Hands-on Small Business Assistance in the Latrobe Valley

  • Year: 2004
  • Author: Barrett, Rowena; Billington, Leo; Neeson, Robyn
  • Journal Name: Australasian Journal of Regional Studies, The
  • Journal Number: Vol. 10, No. 2
  • Country: Australia
  • State/Region: Victoria

Supporting and growing small business to develop an enterprise culture in the Latrobe Valley, is important given the effects of privatisation and restructuring of the power industry and the resultant high levels of unemployment. The focus for this paper is the context, process and outcome of delivering hands-on assistance to a group of 30 small businesses, funded as part of the Victorian government's A$105.8 million package to the Latrobe Valley in 2001. The purpose of outlining the recruitment of participants, the development of the individual action plans and the outcomes is to evaluate the program against its objectives. An engagement with the debates (originating mainly from the United Kingdom) about how best to evaluate small business programs occurs in this paper and the conclusion is that without specified targets it is difficult to do more than simply monitor programs.

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