Our first contract at Freiss in 2003 was to evaluate the UK’s Phoenix Development fund – an £83 million fund for innovating in supporting enterprise in disadvantaged neighbourhoods and under represented groups (such as women and the disabled). The work took three years, generated two major reports, over 20 case studies and a certain amount of tendonitis. At the end of the day government supported business simplification instead of inclusive entrepreneurship. The rest as they say is history. The idea of the braided approach that would link the specialist providers with the mainstream was picked up by Prowess and others. Nowadays everyone understands the terms outreach and specialist support.
Now with the recession the question of how to use enterprise based approaches to re-activate the inactive and to regenerate communities will push its way back.
You can still see the final report at http://www.berr.gov.uk/files/file37787.pdf