The uptake of the Phoenix Fund has been encouraging. The Phoenix Development Fund is supporting over 90 projects testing out innovative approaches in providing business support for disadvantaged communities and under-represented groups. Up until the end of September 2003, the latest date for which figures are available, these projects had helped in the creation of some 7,700 new enterprises and assisted over 7,100 existing businesses.
Among other projects being funded is the work of 55 Community Development Finance Institutions (CDFIs) that provide finance to businesses unable to obtain it from other sources. Up until the end of December 2003, those CDFIs have made over 1,050 loans to the value of over £6.5 million that have resulted in the creation of some 1,860 jobs in over 1,000 new and existing businesses.
The effectiveness of the Fund is currently being evaluated. An interim report of an independent evaluation of the effectiveness of the Phoenix Development Fund is due to be published shortly. A final report will be published in the second half of 2004. An independent evaluation of the effectiveness of the first two rounds of support for CDFIs is currently underway and will report in April.