Qualitative element task: 1500 words report (excluding title page, references, tables/ figures or appendices)
North East Growth Hub (www.northeastgrowthhub.co.uk) is created by local authorities to promote business growth, higher investment, improve the economy and create better jobs for people living in North East of England. As part of their business strategy, they offer support to local businesses to access funding, organize networking events, offer training to employees and provide mentoring support.

To equip businesses in this region, the Hub would like to know how they can offer further support to local businesses either in terms of increasing the levels of present services (such as access to funding, training or mentoring) or offer something new that can restore business confidence, propel economic growth or create better jobs for their employees.

To help in their future strategy, you have been asked to (a) conduct secondary research (from online sources) to evaluate the barriers and facilitators for business growth in North East of England, (b) a sampling plan to recruit about 8-10 small and medium business owners in this region (firms having employee size less than 250) as subjects an online focus group discussion, (c) design the focus group discussion guide including the objectives of the focus group study, potential stimuli topics that can be used to generate discussions and a moderator’s outline (as discussed in this module).

Please include the focus group discussion guide including its components in the appendix.

Quantitative element task: 1500 words report (excluding title page, references, tables/ figures or appendices)
“Me Bank” has done a survey with its customers. The customers are classified into two groups: the first group is online group as they mostly do the transactions through online banking and do not visit the bank outlet; and the second group is offline group, as they visit the bank outlet to do most of the transactions.

Data was collected from 162 customers. The questionnaire items used for the survey are given below. 
•  Items 1 – 20 capture attributes of the bank and responding customers were asked to evaluate their relative importance for choosing this bank (1 = not at all important, 7 = very important). 
•  Items 21 – 24 gauge the customers’ future intentions in relation to this bank (1 = strongly disagree, 7 = strongly agree). 
•  Item 25 in the data file denotes the customer group (1= online group, 0 = offline group). 
•  Items 26_a to 26_d capture the demographic profile of the customers.

“Me Bank” is interested in finding answers to the following questions:
•  What are the factors that customers base their choice on? Advice: Use the perceptions of customers on the various attributes (items 1-20) to find out the factors and report their reliability scores.
•  To what extent are customers’ overall future intentions (average of items 21-24) are explained by these factors (as identified in question 1)?

“Me Bank” approached you for help. Your task is to analyse the dataset provided and answer the above two questions as well as propose recommendations based on your findings. You are required to produce a 1500-word report (+/- 10%). You can include a maximum of 5 tables and figures (combined). The Survey Questions and the completed survey data can be found in the assignment portal.

Structure of the Report:

  • Title page 
  • Executive Summary of the report (150 words) – This includes the main findings.
  • For each question, follow the structure given below:
    o Justify the choice of statistical techniques applied.
    o Give statistical interpretation of the results followed by logical explanation of the outcomes. For example, if some variables are found to have an insignificant impact on the outcomes using statistical tests, explain why possibly the variables behave in that way. Use business logic or management literature for justification of your results.
    o Explain the managerial implications of your findings.
    o Attach the relevant SPSS (or any similar software) generated outputs (tables and figures- maximum five) in the appendix (every table, figure should have a title, appropriately cross-referenced, and explained in detail in the text, tables and figures included in the report are not included in the word count). Summary tables with relevant findings can be provided in the text. Do not provide any output in the appendix without explaining it in the text.
    o Use of appropriate literature is expected to support/justify your approach to the problems and recommendations.
    o References (follow Journal of Marketing Research style of referencing)