Evaluation of the Golden Key Package Component of the Small Business Initiative Funded by the British Bankers Association (CBR project)


Aims and objectives

The CBR together with consultants PACEC were asked to undertake an evaluation of an innovative approach to the provision of financial skills training for small business managers called the Golden Key Package. The package has been used to deliver training to assist business survival and growth to more than 1,000 owner-managers of firms in four areas of England since 1994.

The key conclusions of the evaluation are:

  • The training has a marked and lasting impact on managers’ financial skills and understanding.
  • The managers make positive changes to the way they run their businesses as a result of the training.
  • Bank small business managers and business advisers who serve or support the firms that have used the package also tend to rate the training highly. Moreover, feedback suggests that the training is associated with a favourable impact on performance and risk assessment.
  • Firms using the package make financial cost savings afterwards.
  • The business owners rate the training highly.
  • The scheme attracts owner-managers who generally aim to grow their businesses.
  • The training has a small but positive impact on firms’ ‘bottom line’ performance.

Core team

  • Alan Hughes
  • Andy Cosh
  • Anna Bullock
  • Isobel Milner



British Bankers Association (2001) The Evaluation of the Gold Key Package Component of the Small Business Initiative, London: BBA.