Local Enterprise Partnership Good Practice Guide

Protocols that will help you design and deliver business improvement

Product Design

Product design is the protocol which ensures that publicly funded business improvement activity is delivered in a consistent way. When business improvement activity is being designed this should be undertaken through a collaborative process, making use of a product design team comprising key interested parties. The product’s design should be captured in a Product Descriptor which sets out key features of the product such as eligibility, how it can be accessed, levels of support and customer journey in one concise document. For access to SfB product descriptors please email SfB@bis.gov.uk

When planning to deliver business improvement activity the first consideration should be whether one of the existing SfB Product Descriptors is appropriate. Where local enterprise partnerships wish to develop new interventions, outside the scope of existing descriptors, it is recommended that this covers the core components of existing product descriptors as these have been tested by business, and found to be useful.

Market Failure Rationale

When making funds available for business improvement activity, the government has to ensure that where it intervenes this is justified by a clear and evidenced market failure rationale. This protocol means that government activity is targeted at only those areas where it can have an effect and minimises the risk that it crowds out potential solutions from other parties. Where a market failure outside the scope of those already identified in the portfolio has been identified, we recommend this should be evidenced and tested as part of the product development process.


The Solutions for Business portfolio was created to address the criticism from business that the many forms of support, at national, regional and local levels confused the customer and put them off seeking help. Customers and delivery partners felt that the new streamlined publicly funded portfolio should be complemented by a rationalisation of the number of publicly funded business facing brands visible in the market. The branding which is used will vary by product but typically those products in the national portfolio funded by central government will use the full SfB brand. Local enterprise partnerships are free to use the SfB brand for products that they and their delivery partners develop including co -branding across the key access channels. For access to the SfB image library please email SfB@bis.gov.uk

Performance Measurement

When public money is spent on business improvement activities, government and the public expect information about the outcomes and impacts that any expenditure achieves. The products within the portfolio should be assessed in an appropriate and streamlined way, against an agreed range of performance indicators.

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