Research Services

What We Do

PNE Group offers research services to clients, as standalone projects or to provide additional value to enterprise activities or evaluation projects. We can investigate and evaluate a range of source materials, provide you with clear reports or summaries, identify trends and provide recommendations to a wide variety of enterprise related briefs – from understanding business opportunities within a sector to identifying barriers to business and their solutions.

Our research team can utilise a variety of methods, including original, secondary or mixed method approaches, including source work by a dedicated economic researcher, surveys, interviews, focus groups, exploratory visits and thought leader engagement.


Services we can provide include:

  • Building a profile of a region, sector or community, providing insight, analysis and recommendations to your bespoke brief; for example understanding the business support landscape, opportunities for entrepreneurship, or assessing the feasibility of delivering a project and its potential opportunities and challenges
  • Developing value-chain briefings, to provide a concise overview of business opportunities and challenges within a potential sector or business niche such as social entrepreneurship
  • Analysing and context setting of data collected by your organisation, including benchmarking the project’s performance against trends and the evaluation of project challenges and opportunities
  • Facilitating original research activities, including managed sessions and focus groups, interviews or exploratory visits
  • Reviewing research materials, including evaluating trends, strengths and gaps within existing resources, for example, recent papers on enterprise support mechanisms or business libraries
  • Connecting to a diverse network of professional bodies, research groups, educational institutions and communities to draw support from in the development of your research and its analysis


Our Work

We have provided diverse research services to our clients, here are some of our favourite recent examples:

  • Comprehensive reporting on the feasibility of a wide variety of countries as candidates for launching a new enterprise support programme. Each report includes the business and enterprise support context, maps key potential stakeholders, and explores the opportunities and challenges of launching a new enterprise programme that meet the business’s objectives. Methods included a mix of desk-based research, exploratory visits to key regions and interviews with stakeholders. Five new country reports were completed in 2018. Learn more >


  • An average of 15 value chain briefings have been produced annually , providing a resource for in-country delivery teams and entrepreneurs. The briefings enable clients to highlight opportunities within their supply-chain to aspiring entrepreneurs. Learn more >


  • In 2019, an international benchmarking study was developed for a client who was measuring its national young enterprise support programme against the rest of the sector, helping it better understand its USP and opportunities to grow its offer within the market.


  • PNE Group has also provided comprehensive research on the funded training provision available to third-sector organisations across the North East, creating a central resource for this information and maintaining it. At the height of its success, Voluntary Skills supported over 15,000 people onto training courses annually.


Our Work: Example Material

View some of the great research projects our team have published:


  • The Sustainable Economy: A North East Opportunity: Our February 2019 report highlights key areas of growth within the region’s sustainable economy, as well as providing a host of information to support businesses seeking to develop into the low-carbon and green economies. View the report >
  • Unlocking the North East Productivity Puzzle: Are Managers the Solution?: Our October 2018 report explores the current productivity challenges the North East faces, demonstrating a correlation between the management skills gap faced by the region and the productivity of its SMEs, and providing recommendations for solutions. View the report >


Shared Value

As a social enterprise, we are practitioners of the services we offer, investing all surplus profits in projects which contribute to the sustainable development of communities in the North East of England. Our clients have the assurance that, through the procurement of our services, they are optimising the social impact of their supply-chain spend.

Examples of projects funded by PNE Group include:

  • Delivering business support for start-ups in collaboration with the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF)
  • Enabling unemployed Newcastle residents to explore and pursue self-employment in connection with the New Enterprise Allowance (NEA) scheme
  • Enabling the entrepreneurial and business development of young owners with high-growth potential businesses through our Get Growing programme
  • Our Sustainable Start-up Award, a bespoke grant funding programme for North East businesses tackling sustainability
  • PNE Enterprise deliver the PNE Business Hub, providing business support to individuals who are over 50 or living with a disability in North of Tyne


Expert Processes and Project Management

Our five-step programme management process, overseen by a qualified project manager, enables us to work as an extension of your team, helping you to achieve, impactful and measurable results. In 2018, this expertise was endorsed as we were named National Enterprise Network Enterprise’s Enterprise Team of the Year.

Learn more about our five steps programme management process >


We are an ISO 9001: 2015 accredited organisation, our staff management is governed by an Investors in People standard, and our digital infrastructure is Cyber Essentials certified.


If your organisation wants to explore what research services PNE Group can support you with, get in touch with our team today.


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