engage magazine issue 001 spring \'06 - Page 23

OPINION 23 Current Debates Or take the Local Enterprise Growth Initiative (LEGI). Announced by the Chancellor in his 2005 Budget, it aims to release the economic and productivity potential of the most deprived local areas across the country through enterprise and investment. Through three national-level outcomes - increasing total entrepreneurial activity, supporting sustainable growth and reducing the failure rate of locally-owned business, and attracting investment and franchising into deprived areas - the LEGI programme resonates with the wider aim of ensuring that businesses, especially from economically under-represented groups, are able to access and maximise public and private investment channelled into creating and sustaining employment and enterprise. Evidently, the relevance of SD is not limited to supply chain efficiency projects or the LEGI: workforce development initiatives, promoted by the Learning and Skills Council, can help under-represented businesses situate themselves in wider supply or value networks; City Growth strategies, which encourage businessled regeneration, provide an opportunity to ensure that SD is an organisational theme for public intervention when promoting community renewal; the New Deal for Communities programme can help facilitate local SMEs, especially BAME- and women-owned companies, access contracting opportunities in the re-development of places; and spatially focused programmes and actors such as Business Improvement Districts (BIDs) standard to meet ‘Best Value’. And in a global economy there are often parallel and competing drivers and policies in process - Ford champions SD through various initiatives across the world and “Supply chain development can help maximise efficiency and influence the nature, scale and participation of target businesses in economic activity - a clear aim of Supplier Diversity.” and Urban Regeneration Companies (URCs), offer the chance to identify and assess how cross-cutting concerns - crime and sustainability, for instance - can be linked to diversifying local economies. The context within which SD is being promoted, however, is characterised by a number of tensions. For example, the latest Budget highlights the value of SD. And yet it also points to an additional £200 billion in Public Finance Initiatives (PFIs) which may reduce the use of SMEs and sub-contactors in delivery. There also &V6RFVB6FR&'&W'36RV&Ɩ2W&66W'2FFBFRWW&V&7W&VVBF&V7FfRBvFW"T26WFFƖ7FBV6ǒ66FFR4B"6RV&Ɩ2W&66W2FFBFW&R&R7Vn6VFǒFfW'6R'W6W76W2FFVƗfW"vG2B6W'f6W2bFRV6W76'VƗGBWBG266rb6"Vf7GW&r66W&FR֖FG27BV"B6WfW&RƖ6F2f"VFW"&W&W6VFVB'W6W76W2FR&Vv&W7V7G2FR&Fb4BFRT27FBV&ǒ7FvRWfW'FVW722Ɩ7B&7F6Ff"V6rV6֖2FWfVVBBffW'2V&W2FVFGW&ǒFRFW7Bv&RǖrgW'FW"FR( FV'( b4B&7F6R'WBb7G&vW"Ɩ2vF7W'&VBFFfW2F&FRVVBVFW'&6RB6VG&VWv&Rf&vVB4BvfR7Fr7BG"V62FRvr67VFBbƖfWv&BFBf"gW'FW"f&F&WBV6֖2FWfVVB7WƖW"FfW'6GB&7W&VVBR6&R6F7FVBVƖfWv&Bf5$r55TR#bVvvP